Kaplan exhibit

`Galactic Stories' mixes art, science

Kaplan exhibit was sparked by Hubble telescope photos

“Astro History” by Sandra Kaplan is painted with mixed media on 12 canvases, 54” x 72”. Photo by Sonya Ellingboe
A wall of small uniformly-sized works contain mixed media images in Sandra Kaplan’s “Galactic Stories” exhibit. Photo by Sonya Ellingboe
“Horsehead Galaxy,” oil and acrylic on canvas, 18’’x18” by Sandra Kaplan is in her “Galactic Stories” Exhibit. Photo by Sonya Ellingboe
“Sam and Steilka” mixed media on five canvases, 36” x 66” is in Kaplan’s “Galactic Stories” Exhibit. Photo by Sonya Ellingboe
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“In `Sam and Streilka,' for example, a Russian dog who traveled in space is only brush strokes away from `The Big Bang.' It is my hope that the painting is thematically expansive — as well as visually unified …”
That is from a statement by artist Sandra Kaplan for “Galactic Stories,” her latest exhibit at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It runs through Aug. 28 and is a most engaging collection of images that blend history, science, philosophy — and especially art.
Kaplan is an experienced painter and teacher who resides in Englewood, with studio and teaching space in Denver. She has been known for collages in addition to more conventional painting techniques, and in this show, the viewer finds both — executed with the technical skill that comes with time.
She explains that her daughter, an electrical engineer, stimulated her thought processes to begin with when she sent several photos taken by the Hubble telescope. “Intrigued, I began combing through as many astronomy books as I could find, collecting historical astronomical images and scientific charts and maps.”
Friends learned of her interest and added to her collection of books, and drawings and images began to find their way into new collages. Mythology merges with more recent images and charts. While at times, images seem incompatible, they are part “of an encompassing continuum,” she writes in a statement about the show.
“Maps chart what we think we know, yet to me they always suggest that there's more to discover ... I'm not entirely sure where the line between reality and imagination begins and ends. The best I can say is that the skies are full of astonishments that can expand the field of artistic play and those are the fields in which I'm currently working.”

If you go:

The Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanity, on the Anschutz Medical Campus, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Directions: Start at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Peoria Street and go noth on Peoria. Turn right on Montview Boulevard. At Uvalda Street, turn right and go past several parking lots to the last entrance on the left, the Georgetown Lot. Park there, then facing south, walk to the right past several campus buildings to a smaller red brick building, the Fulginiti Pavilion. The gallery is on the first floor. Admission is free.