How my paintings: “Solar Flares” informs on a significant Solar Event, and results in an art/science educational collaboration for the general public.
It was on September 1, 1859 scientists Richard C. Carrington and Richard Hodgson (independently) observed sunspots, as they viewed a large flare of white light. Their work confirmed the existence and cycle of solar flares.
I was a resident artist in Mexico spanning the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In 2011 our Sun was to reach the maximum in its eleven year cycle. It was about to give forth an impressive burst of magnetic energy, and emit radiation across the entire “electronic spectrum.” I decided to paint 11 works, some 50 X 30 inches on Stonehenge paper, to memorialize the event. Every eleven years the solar flare phenomenon happens. I felt it important to introduce the public to my artistic treatment of this event, and increase public awareness on how important it is to observe and protect our “Spaceship Earth.”
I was visiting Maine, looking forward to moving back in 2012 and considered what way I was going to artistically represent Maine. I established as a goal for my paintings in Maine to seek to express Maine’s true essence. For I paint ‘Maine’ as unforgiving, the land, sea and sky as uncompromising, demanding your daily awareness, and testing your ability to live with nature as a constant in your life.
I sought a way to exhibit my Solar Flares series with collaboration by the scientific community, but other art projects, and resettling in Maine made that near impossible; until 2017 when I contacted the International Planetarium Society Office of Education. I was told to consider contacting, Dr. Shawn Laatsch, Director of Emery Planetarium, UMO, Orono, Maine. I did so by email, and we communicated on my proposal. He expressed interest, and said he would like to be involved. The initial idea became a possible art/science project; one that Dr. Laatsch felt he wanted to do at Emery. Many communications later we concluded on who would be involve
“Solar Flares” is a 15-minute video by Dr. Laatsch and staff at Emera Astronomy Center; Duane Shimmel, music, narration and technical support (Director, Center for Innovation and Learning, UMO, Orono) and John Ripton, PhD (script writer) in collaboration with Maine artist Roland Salazar Rose. The video production is based on Salazar’s series of eleven paintings.
We intend to produce and show the collaborative art/science event at Emery as a ‘full-dome’ production with five public evening events in November 2018. It will also be available for schools and other planetarium venues after our November show.