Geology and art collide in fall exhibit at the Schweinfurth

Laura Moriarty, Landslide, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Schweinfurth Art Center’s fall exhibitions, which open Friday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., feature a variety of artists who are inspired by geology. In the solo exhibition titled Bedrock Revealed: Geologic Landscapes, Jonathon Wells, uses scientific data from mining, wells, and other drilling activities to create photo composites that show the interplay between the civilization on the surface and the bedrock below.

Wells’ background as a geologist and skills as a photographer allows him to accurately portray the rock beneath cities such as Boston, New York, St. Paul and Minneapolis. These visualizations are both aesthetically beautiful and thought-provoking, as they show the unseen ways humans mark the earth. Wells will be giving a lecture detailing his process, research, and the science behind the photographs at 5 p.m. during the opening reception Sept. 1.

Another exhibit titled Underlying Factors: Artists Inspired by Geology, features the work of Geoffrey Booras, Laura Moriarty and Lauren Rosenthal. Booras is a sculptor whose work examines the relationships between science, technology and nature. His work includes ceramic interpretations of massive drill bits used in oil and gas exploration and mining petrochemicals. He also experiments with Marcellus Shale as a medium, speaking to the overuse of fossil fuels in the context of geologic time.

Moriarty makes process-driven sculptural paintings and sculptures using an encaustic (wax) medium whose forms, colors, textures, and patterns result from the same processes that shape and reshape the earth: heating and cooling, erosion, subduction, friction, enfolding, weathering and slippage. Rosenthal’s prints, drawings, and mixed media works interpret

Rosenthal’s prints, drawings, and mixed media works interpret hydrological data created by cutting away layers of ground, evoking the process by which rivers mark the landscape. Map-like, the work exposes the relationship between rivers and the built environment we have created, and the resulting paths for these waterways.

In Gallery Julius, The Disappearing Tiny Beasts of My Imaginings by Ellen Haffar will also be on view. Haffar’s pieces celebrate those tiny, spineless beasts in peril from environmental threats – bees, butterflies and fireflies.

The Schweinfurth Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Schweinfurth Art Center programs are supported by the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature. For more information about the Schweinfurth Art Center, visit or call 315-255-1553.

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