Space Stories Attracts Full House of Final Frontier Fans

Local Scientists Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Universe

At Art Center, being sandwiched geographically between the experimental and exploratory resources of innovative places like Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory has its advantages – particularly for an ongoing series of exhibitions superimposing the domains of art and science at the college’s Williamson Gallery.

On Tuesday evening, May 1, one of those exhibitions, the Williamson’s landmark The History of Space Photography, took advantage of Art Center’s strong relationship with its nearby neighbors.  Lured from their star-studded light year calculations, exoplanet forays, and search for life-out-there, five space mission veterans interacted with an enthusiastic sold-out audience for SPACE STORIES, an informal meandering walk-around laced with spontaneous anecdotes, hidden facts, behind-the-scenes observations, and insider secrets on the history and future of the Final Frontier.

Introduced to the audience by Art Center Vice President and Williamson Gallery director Stephen Nowlin, were exhibition curator Jay Belloli; Dr. Randall Friedl, Deputy Director for Research, Engineering and Science Directorate, JPL; Dr. Robert Hurt, Spitzer Space Telescope Visualization Specialist, JPL/Caltech; David Doody, Realtime Flight Operations Lead Engineer, Cassini Mission, JPL; Jurrie van der Woude, Image Coordinator, Public Affairs Office, JPL (retired); and Dr. Randii Wessen, Science Systems Engineer and Deputy Manager, Project Formulation, JPL.

From the scientists’ outer-space to the gallery’s 4,600 square-foot inner-space where 150 spectacular photographs are on display, the spirit of exploration and discovery was present throughout as an abundance of tidbits and insights consumed the five roaming islands of rapt questioners and story-tellers.  It was a truly memorable evening, just what one might expect at the intersection of these three renowned art/science institutions in Pasadena.

The History of Space Photography’s premiere engagement began at the Williamson Gallery continues through May 6.  The exhibition is presently scheduled to travel to Florida, New York, and India.

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