I imagine that everyone has his or her own threshold demarcating the end of summer: Labor Day, the first day of classes, the first leaves falling from the trees. For me, it’s the opening reception of our Fall exhibition, in the moments after the last of our guests leave. I finally have a chance to sit down and register for the first time the new exhibition in its totality. All of the transitional clutter of the installation process has vanished (well, not entirely…oftentimes it has just been tucked behind closet doors waiting to be sorted in the coming days), and, much like a theater set, the space has been transformed yet again.
This was the case Sunday after the pleasantly successful opening reception for Michael Byron: Cosmic Tears. Fr. Dempsey and I sat down after the rest of the staff left, and compared notes about the opening — notable guests, friends old and new, and the responses to the art both overheard and observed.
One of the more interesting questions I fielded was whether we had timed the opening of the exhibition to coincide with the release of the latest images from the recently refurbished Hubble Space telescope. Of course, it’s sheer coincidence, but it’s an intriguing connection. The Hubble images only begin to suggest what creation and destruction on a cosmic scale encompass.
Michael Byron’s Cosmic Tears works do not overwhelm with the magnitude of the Hubble images — they are intimate, contemplative works. But they do pose the questions of whether an artist can tap into the same sort of creative forces that birth and rend galaxies, and whether art can serve as a means of engaging such mind-blowing realities.
— David Brinker, Assistant Director