PHILADELPHIA – (December 12, 2016) – After four decades of innovative programming and exhibitions exploring the intersection of art, science and technology, the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new exhibit. Art at the Science Center: A 40-Year Retrospective will pay homage to the last 40 years of artistic programming by featuring pieces from EKG’s permanent collection and archives. The exhibit opens on December 19th and runs through January 27th. A celebratory reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market Street, on Thursday, January 26th from 5 – 7:30 p.m. Libby Newman, founder of EKG and curator of the gallery for its first 25 years, will be the guest of honor at the reception.
Art at the Science Center: A 40-Year Retrospective will feature work by R. Buckminster Fuller, Aleksandra Kasuba, James Dupree, and others. Visitors to EKG will also have an opportunity to view a short documentary film by Marie Alarcón exploring the extensive history of the gallery, including interviews with EKG stakeholders who played a role in shaping the gallery’s development over the last 40 years.
Since its inception, the Esther Klein Gallery has used the creative arts as a platform to explore the relationships between art, science and technology. The concept originated in 1975 with Dr. Randall Whaley, former President of the Science Center and an advocate of better communication between scientists and artists. In 1976, Libby Newman, chosen by Whaley to be founder and curator of the gallery, brought Whaley’s vision to life through her programming.
In the early 1980’s, R. Buckminster Fuller, a World Fellow in Residence and inventor of the geodesic dome, was featured in a solo exhibition that included his early drawings and his then-latest invention, the 4D dymaxion book case.
“Forty years ago we had an idea that, to our knowledge, had never been attempted before” says Libby Newman. “Our goal was to facilitate active interplay between artists and scientists. The continued success of EKG demonstrates the importance and relevance of this interdisciplinary program, and the value that manifests when art and science overlap.”
The success of these early exhibitions paved the way for what has become EKG’s primary focus on exploring the intersection between art, science and technology. To date, EKG has supported over 3,500 local, national and international artists through solo and group exhibitions. Today, the gallery maintains an ongoing calendar of dynamic programs and events that are free and open to the public.
“The decision to establish arts programming four decades ago has been one of the Science Center’s greatest experiments,” says Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D. MBA, Science Center President & CEO. “EKG’s positive impact on the cultural life of our immediate neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the broader community proves the experiment’s success.”
This exhibition is curated by Angela McQuillan of the Science Center.
About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. Founded in 1963 as the nation’s first urban research park, it provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. Graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s business incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in Greater Philadelphia and drive $12.9 billion in economic activity in the region annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.
About the Esther Klein Gallery
The Esther Klein Gallery (EKG), which opened in 1977, uses the creative arts as a platform to explore relationships between art, science and technology. EKG seeks to positively impact the cultural life of both its immediate neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the broader Philadelphia community. EKG programming is designed to explore the range of art, science and technology exhibitions, and includes gallery talks, panel discussions, and education programs. For more information, visit www.sciencecenter.org/discover/ekg.