No great creative work, whether in engineering or in art, in literature or in science, has ever been the work of a [person] devoid of the imaginative faculty.
– George Ellery Hale

Arts @ the Observatory:
Exhibitions and events in the spirit of founder and polymath George Ellery Hale

THE 2022 SEASON HAS CONCLUDED

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IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE CALIFORNIA ART CLUB
October 15, 2022
 |10AM-4PM FREE
Open House & California Art Club Plein-air Paint/Sculpt-Out

Partnering with California Art Club, the Observatory will provide FREE access to the mountain’s historic buildings, plein-air painting and sculpting throughout the grounds, and a one-day only exhibition of fine art Mars landscapes by members of the Art Club in the Observatory Museum.

Watch artists at work as they create new paintings inspired by the breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains that surround Mount Wilson Observatory. Paint/Sculpt-Outs are held by the CAC at scenic locations throughout the year, allowing both artists and art lovers to gather for some camaraderie as the artists create new works.

Ongoing exhibits

Sunstar

Sunstar is a special art installation created and owned by artist Liliane Lijn and astrophysicist John Vallerga. It is on loan to Mount Wilson Observatory, and can now be seen in a number of locations.

Sunstar is an array of six prisms which take incoming sunlight and refract it, bending the light and spreading it into a spectrum–all the colors of the rainbow. It is mounted near the top of the Observatory’s 150-foot Solar Telescope Tower. With motion controls, it can be remotely directed to project the spectrum to a specific point in the Los Angeles basin. An observer below will see an intense point of light in a single wavelength, shining like a brilliant jewel from the ridgeline of Mount Wilson, 5800 feet above in the San Gabriel Mountains. The prisms can be moved to change the color of light an observer sees, or the observer can walk in one direction or another to change the color. In this case, the observer is actually walking across a giant spectrum some 250 yards long. While still very bright, at the great distances involved, it is perfectly safe to look at a single wavelength of sunlight. 

Past events - 2022 Season

2022 Fulcrum Festival: Deep Ocean/Deep Space
September 23-25, 2022

The Fulcrum Festival is a regional celebration of art and science across the greater Los Angeles area. This year’s festival features a robust program of exhibitions, performances, lectures, screenings, and workshops—all centered around the theme of “Deep Ocean/Deep Space.”

Mount Wilson Observatory was one of the venues of the 2022 Fulcrum Festival.

Methods for Descrying, Intimate Eyes that Listen Paige Emery
(Fulcrum Festival)

Methods for Descrying, Intimate Eyes that Listen considers the space for intimate otherness in data interpretation. Musing between astronomical stereoscopy and intuitive scrying, the sculpture installation brings attention to the way we use our senses as a conduit for understanding information.  Tuning into our environment is a crucial aid for a more-than-human deep listening in research methodologies.

freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles)
CM von Hausswolff

(Fulcrum Festival)

freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles) is an immersive installation by pioneering new media and conceptual artist, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who will transform the interior of the 100-inch Telescope at Mount Wilson Observatories with a visual and sound installation. The project brings together twelve individual sound works by twelve artists, each operating within a unique frequency range based on field recordings from the Pacific Ocean and amplified to act as a single, generative sonic zone.

Within Sound: The Acoustic Sculptures of Michael Brewster

Within the 100-inch Dome, visitors will physically engage with six of this pioneering sound artist’s pieces as they move throughout the space and also learn about Brewster’s approach to his art which encompassed sound, engineering, and architecture.