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CB1 Gallery

Exploring Antarctica:
New Frontiers of Art and Science

Sunday, October 12, 4 p.m.
with Lily Simonson, Dr. Joe Levy & Mary Miller

Lily Simonson, Dr. Joe Levy and Mary Miller
Top left: Dr. Joe Levy; bottom left: Mary Miller; right: Lily Simonson

Sunday October 12, at 4 p.m, in conjunction with Lily Simonson's solo exhibition On Ice, CB1 Gallery will host a panel discussion entitled Exploring Antarctica: New Frontiers of Art and Science with artist Lily Simonson, her collaborator Dr. Joe Levy, a permafrost and planetary geologist from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, and Mary Miller, project director at the Exploratorium, a museum of science, art and human perception. The panelists will discuss their experiences living on the ice in Antarctica and synthesizing cutting edge research with artmaking.

Dr. Levy and Lily Simonson will describe surviving, working, and merging painting with geological research during the month they spent camping in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. Levy and Simonson will work in tandem again this year during Simonson’s three-month residency in Antarctica as the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Awardee.

In 2001 Mary Miller SCUBA dove in Antarctica’s frigid ocean beneath sea ice up to 2 meters thick---an undertaking that Simonson herself will embark on when she returns to Antarctica this month. Miller and Simonson will discuss the process of SCUBA diving in the frigid waters around Antarctica's coast and the significance of life beneath the ice.

Lily Simonson's second solo exhibition, On Ice is currently on view at the gallery. Last year, Simonson spent over a month sleeping in a one-person tent and plein air painting in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica--one of the coldest, driest environments on the planet. As the embedded artist in a National Science Foundation expedition, she worked alongside geologists to investigate changes in this alien landscape of ice and volcanic rock. Simonson’s new series of mammoth canvases transport viewers to this sublime, barely-explored, and thrillingly inhospitable world, invoking the tradition of Romantic landscape painting,

Simonson will continue her Antarctic exploration this year, where she will spend over three months SCUBA diving in the frozen Southern Ocean and expanding her plein air painting practice camping and further exploring the Dry Valleys. Simonson has previously collaborated with researchers as the Artist in Residence and Science Communication Fellow aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, exploring and painting Kick ’em Jenny, the Caribbean's only active submarine volcano. Simonson also joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's San Diego Coastal Expedition, where she observed and painted the deep-sea fauna collected by researchers from the oxygen minimum zone. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited across the US and Europe and her art has appeared in a range of media outlets, including the LA Times, LA Weekly, MTV, the Huffington Post, CBS News, and MSNBC. Simonson holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from UC Berkeley. She has taught painting and drawing at UC Berkeley, the Norton Simon Museum of Art, and CSU Pomona.

Joe Levy is a permafrost and planetary geologist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. 2014-2015 will be his 9th Antarctic field season. He is an investigator with the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project and is interested in understanding how Antarctic soils and landscapes respond to climate change and how this information can be used to understand similar cold desert landforms on Mars. This year’s project focused on understanding how shallow groundwater in frozen environments sustains soil microbes that are bellwethers for climate change. He leads the Terrestrial Analog and Changing Landscape lab (TACL) at the University of Texas, which uses remote sensing and location-based field experiments to map the physical, chemical, and biological response to climate change at spatial scales most relevant to people and communities. Joe earned his PhD in 2009 at Brown University and has led five subsequent expeditions to Antarctica as principle investigator. His outreach and education efforts focus on sharing the experience of “being there” in Antarctica through collaborations with artists, fieldwork demos, and 3D photography.

Mary Miller is a project director in the science learning networks group and is responsible for leading multidisciplinary teams in creating innovative and engaging content about current scientific research for the Exploratorium’s award-winning website and museum exhibits and programs. She is also a Webcast producer and host, science writer, online media producer, and liaison to the scientific community on numerous education and outreach partnerships. Mary is the director for a 5-year partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and facilitates collaborations between the two organizations to develop visualizations, media narratives, and interpretations of ongoing environmental research, including climate change and ocean and atmospheric research. In her roles as a science writer and producer, Mary has dodged icebergs in Greenland, flown in a hurricane hunter through a Pacific Storm, and been diving under the ice in Antarctica. She has written feature articles for numerous magazines including Smithsonian, New Scientist, Natural History, Popular Science, and The Sciences. She authors an Exploratorium blog and is co-author of Watching Weather (Henry Holt, 1998). Mary has a B.A. in biology and marine studies and a master’s certificate in science communication from U.C. Santa Cruz. She developed the media production track and teaches multimedia science journalism in the UCSC science communication program.
Lily Simonson "On Ice" instllation view at CB1 Gallery

Continuing through October 26, 2014, Lily Simonson's On Ice and  Five by Five featuring Rachel K. Bury, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Brian Porray, John Schlue and Jaime Scholnick.

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CB1 Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in historic downtown Los Angeles. The gallery exhibits and promotes an intellectually demanding yet aesthetically pleasing group of younger artists and mid-career artists who cross disciplines and political perspectives.

Gallery hours are:
Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
or by appointment

For more information about our artists or the exhibition contact Clyde Beswick, Gallery Director, at 213-806-7889 or

CB1 Gallery
207 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Street parking is available and also several public lots are available on Spring Street between 4th and 6th (Use this app to find available parking, Or, ride the Metro, exit at Pershing Square and walk 2 blocks to CB1.

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