On Friday, you’ll be able to see the latest work from Fermilab’s 2014-15 artist-in-residence, Lindsay Olson. The new exhibit, “Art and the Quantum World,” kicks off with an artist reception on Friday, Sept. 23, from 5-7 p.m. in the Fermilab Art Gallery.
Olson will give an artist talk on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at noon in the Art Gallery.
As Fermilab’s first artist-in-residence, Olson worked with scientists, members of the accelerator operations crew and numerous staff throughout the lab to learn the basics of high-energy physics. She was inspired to create a body of work that reflects the beauty of this research and the dedication of the women and men here at Fermilab and around the world.
In the exhibit you’ll see artist’s books, inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts, that suggest the leviathan detectors and electronics used to detect particles, the mysterious structures of the universe and the layered information the universe yields to researches after careful investigations.
“Using creative license, I suggest the silicon tracker, the electromagnetic calorimeter and the hadron calorimeter, as well as other hardware in the structure,” Olson said in an artist statement.
You’ll also see two large textile pieces, “Dark Glamour: Neutrino I and II,” that play up the visual metaphor of nets to suggest how detectors capture images of the elusive neutrino.
In another work on the Standard Model, Olson used dyed textiles, embroidery and other techniques to express the model’s elegance.
Her research on accelerator-generated particle beams inspired ink drawings that celebrate the nature of the particles in the beam and the powerful magnetic forces that help control them.
“Accelerator science is all about riding a bucking bronco of particles,” Olson said in an artist statement.
The residency project sheds light on both the smallest frontiers and the structure of the universe: the subatomic realm of neutrinos, quarks and leptons, as well as the research into dark matter and dark energy. Olson views the project as an ideal way to invite others with little or no technical background to explore the very underpinnings of reality itself.
Olson is known for her unusual subject matter, including a stint as the artist-in-residence for the Oak Park Police Department. Her love of science and technology grew out of her work with Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the world’s largest waste water treatment facility. Olson worked in fashion design for many years and now teaches textiles at Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been seen in both Europe and the United States.
The exhibit runs through Nov. 23.