“The arts are the salt of the earth; as salt relates to food, the arts relate to technology.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
For our Annual Spring Benefit, which also marks our 60th Anniversary, we chose the theme ‘Celebrate the Future’. Little did we know then that we would be facing unprecedented circumstances, as the Coronavirus has nearly cast our event into the shadows.
Thankfully, we selected, as the Arts Honoree, Ellen Sandor, new media artist and Founder/Director of the collaborative arts group (art)n. Ellen has been working on a forthcoming exhibition to coincide with our anniversary event, Visualizing in a New Light. Fortunately, the ‘shadow’ of the virus cannot block her bright light of creativity and genius as we move forward.
As our team decided to take our event to a virtual realm, Ellen and her talented team, Diana Torres and Azadeh Gholizadeh, completely redesigned their work into a dynamic online experience. As it turned out, there are no better partners for this unique endeavor, and we are thrilled to continue to host our first ever virtual fundraiser, complete with a compelling virtual exhibition.
Viewed through the lens of today’s challenges, (art)n and Ellen Sandor’s inspiring works remain timely and relevant. Throughout her career, Ellen has worked with incredible groups of gifted artists, scientists, technologists, and thinkers, resulting in intense collaborations, often integrating other artforms with computer graphics, medicine and science. The immersive content presented here was merged into a totally new medium of PHSColograms, addressing complex topics from AIDS and Polio viruses, to breast cancer and autism.
Ellen’s work is groundbreaking, as the imagery her team has selected emphatically transcends the virtual and literal, the screen and the mind, the image and the observer with creativity and compassion. What she and her team share with us in this exhibition is the fulfillment of the possibility that the arts have to educate and influence other areas of science and medicine, with the courage and sensitivity to explore issues from an entirely new direction. They take us back into the essence of a gallery, perhaps not physically, but have managed to recreate a space for all of us to enter. Like a traditional exhibition, their incredible work engages, informs and entertains us. By merging virtual art into a true experience, they challenge and inspire us all to Visualize in a New Light.
The Art Center Highland Park is sincerely indebted to Ellen, Diana, and Azi, for their dedication and support. They have made this seminal event even more urgent, and are truly helping us ‘Celebrate the Future’.
James M. Lynch, Executive Director
Caren Helene Rudman, Curator