It doesn’t take a trip to Cape Canaveral to reach space this summer. The “Galactic Stories” exhibit, which opened last week at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus, travels space through a group of multimedia paintings by Englewood artist Sandra Kaplan. The exhibit features paintings inspired by images from the Hubble Telescope, which takes viewers on a journey through the final frontier, as interpreted by Kaplan’s research and her own creativity. “I’ve been inspired by the subject matter more than other art; its been exciting,” Kaplan says. “This work is the first time the planning and the intuition and the spontaneity have sort of all come together.”
Her exhibit began with a series of paintings inspired when her daughter sent her a picture taken by the Hubble Telescope several years ago. After the idea seeded, Kaplan spent over two years collecting astronomy books and images to inspire her own interpretive works. Images depict some of the most famous people and events from space exploration, from the doomed Russian dog Laika to the journey of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin. While some of the pieces have historical and scientific roots, many come from Kaplan’s own imagination and interpretations of the galaxy. Although the subject matter is somewhat new for her work, she has been inspired by her own memories of early space exploration. “I always thought it was really exciting, but I never felt like a part of it other than being an American," Kaplan says. "It’s sort of nice to go back and reconnect with those stories that were so exciting at the time."
“Galactic Stories” will remain on display on CU’s Anschutz Medical campus now through August 28.