M.C. Escher: Where Art, Math, and the Sciences Converge (Live Virtual Symposium via Zoom)

Join us for a free virtual symposium about art, math, and science, and an Escher-inspired dance performance via Zoom.

Join us for a very special symposium, live on Zoom, celebrating the work of M.C. Escher and his influence across the disciplines included in STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. The speakers in this virtual program will discuss how M.C. Escher was influenced by, and how his work influences, those in the arts and sciences. The symposium will culminate in the debut screening of a performance by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, recorded in the actual gallery where the M.C. Escher exhibition is on view. The dance choreography will be inspired directly by Escher’s artwork and complemented by cellist Ashley Bathgate. This innovative, interdisciplinary program will make eye-opening connections between art and the sciences, broadening perspectives and encouraging audience growth.

Speakers include:
Ellen Sinopoli – Artistic Director of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company

Chris Soria – Visual Artist & Muralist

Keith Earle – Associate Professor and Chair of Physics, SUNY Albany

Cristian Lenart – Professor and Chair of Mathematics and Statistics, SUNY Albany

See full bios below. Additional speakers TBA

This symposium is offered for free, with a suggested donation of $20 for those who wish to support our educational offerings. This is a virtual program only, not on-site. The program is in celebration of our summer exhibit, M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations, which spans the Dutch artist’s entire career with more than 160 works from the private collection of Paul and Belinda Firos of Athens, Greece. Escher’s fascination with mathematical theory motivated him to produce imagery that constantly challenged notions of reality and its underlying structures. This comprehensive exhibition chronicles his journey as one of the world’s most recognized artists by presenting the full range of media in which he worked. Visitors will see many items which were originally part of the Escher Estate including woodcuts, lithographs, etchings and even a lithography stone. The exhibition displays some of his most iconic pieces including Day and Night, influenced by Moorish designs in Spain. Works like Day and Night featured interlocking forms and transformation on a surreal canvas. Visitors will also see the the fourteen foot long Metamorphosis. There’s also Ascending and Descending, a 1960 print of an impossible building with a staircase that mirrors a möbius strip. Aside from additional iconic images that made this artist famous, such as Drawing Hands, Waterfall, Eye, and Relativity, the collection features numerous seldom displayed prints including the Griffin of Borghese, Still Life and Street and the entire set of his mezzotints (8 in total), among numerous other works. The collection also includes one of the earliest and extremely rare large format drawings done by the artist.

Speaker and Performer Bios:
Ellen Sinopoli founded the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (ESDC) in 1991, after settling in the Capital Region from Boston and NYC. Under her direction, ESDC has become one of the premier dance companies in upstate NY, employing a steady roster of professional modern dancers and promoting and bringing dance to traditional and non-traditional venues. Over 32 years, Ellen Sinopoli has choreographed 100 new works and her many artistic collaborations and projects serve as a conduit to bring together talented artists (both regional and national) from varied genres that include visual artists, sculptors, architects, composers and musicians, poets and storytellers, videographers, photographers and physicists. ESDC dancers serve as a muse for Sinopoli’s creative process. Applauded for their consistent excellence and artistry, their movement imaginings, unique artistry, and deep professionalism add to the choreographic process. Beyond her role as Artistic Director and choreographer, Ellen is also noted for her talents as a master teacher and for her efforts to educate young people about dance. She was Coordinator of Dance Programming at Russell Sage College until her retirement in 2020. She has taught at Siena College, Skidmore College, Union College, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Saratoga City Ballet and Guilderland Ballet, among others.

Chris Soria is a visual artist, specializing in large-scale murals and dimensional artwork. Working in mediums including painting, photo-collage, digital art, and ephemeral mediums, Soria applies his versatility to a multi-disciplined mural-making practice. Soria has created and collaborated on works of art in public, private, and shared spaces for more than 20 years, with dozens of murals and street art throughout NYC and beyond.

Keith Earle is Associate Professor and Chair of Physics at the RNA Institute at SUNY Albany. He received his PhD in Experimental Physics at Cornell University and acts as Associate Director of ACERT, the National Resource for Advanced Electron-Spin Resonance Spectroscopy, at Cornell. His research areas include high field electron paramagnetic resonance and quasioptical design techniques.

Cristian Lenart is Professor and Chair of Mathematics and Statistics at SUNY Albany. He received his PhD from the University of Manchester (UK). His research interests include algebraic combinatorics, combinational representation theory, combinatorial algebraic geometry, and formal group laws.
American cellist Ashley Bathgate has been described as an “eloquent new music interpreter” (New York Times) and “a glorious cellist” (The Washington Post) who combines “bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops” (New York Magazine). Bathgate studied at Bard College with Luis Garcia-Renart (B.M.) before continuing her education at Yale University with renowned cellist Aldo Parisot (M.M. & A.D). Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY, Bathgate began her cello studies with the late Rudolf Doblin, principal cellist and assistant music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic in the 1950’s. After his passing, she resumed her tutelage with Ann Alton at Skidmore College. A member of the Empire State Youth Orchestra at the time, Bathgate was also the unprecedented two-time winner of the Lois Lyman Concerto Competition, performing the Saint-Saens and Schumann Cello Concertos with the orchestra at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. While at Bard College, she was invited to perform both the d’Albert and Barber Cello Concertos with the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein and then went on to win Yale University’s Concerto Competition in 2008, performing with the Yale Philharmonia in New Haven’s legendary Woolsey Hall.

Sponsored in part by Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation, The Clark Foundation, Nellie and Robert Gipson, Joseph and Carol Mahon, Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna J. Morgan McReynolds, NYCM Insurance, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O. Putnam, and Richland County Foundation.

This live Zoom lecture is online only. Fenimore Art Museum offers this program for free with a suggested donation of $20. Your donations allow for us to continue to offer such programming to the public and we thank you for your support. Please register here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
6:00 pm — 9:00 pm (3h)

Register Here!

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