This summer, visitors to the Rick Scalf Gallery in downtown Lexington will have the opportunity to turn their selfies into a collaborative art project. From July 17 through August 30, the gallery will host guest artist Elizabeth Shatner and her Into the Light series, which uses colorful, interactive installations to explore the relationship of the audience with light, technology and community.
One of the artist’s goals is to elevate the much-maligned selfie into something that can be used to uplift society. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a larger-than-life digital projection of abstract images that viewers are encouraged to step directly into, becoming covered in color and light. Viewers are invited to then take a selfies of themselves interacting with the light, creating new pieces of digital art that can be shared. Shatner asks viewers to then collaborate with her directly by uploading their selfies from the exhibit to a special digital gallery on the artist’s web site. Through what Shatner calls “exponential art”, this process not only expands the exhibit beyond the physical gallery and into the global “cloud”, but Shatner will also use the uploaded photos to create an original, crowd-sourced, physical print that directly reflects the community from which it originated (in this case, the visitors to the Rick Scalf gallery). “This brings the experience full-circle,” explains Shatner, “and gives folks a way to connect to both art and their community, regardless of whether they think of themselves as particularly creative or extroverted.” On display at the Scalf Gallery will be three such photo mosaics that incorporate the selfies that were uploaded by community collaborators while the projection was installed at the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky and the Gateway Gallery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Visitors will have a special opportunity to meet the artist and purchase, in real-time, 8x10 prints of their selfies, hand-signed by Shatner and co-signed by themselves, at the opening Artist’s Reception on the July 17. This creates a frame-able, one-of-a-kind piece that brings the collaboration immediately into each audience-artist’s home.
While Into The Light explores a playful interaction with projected and re-captured light in the digital realm, a second installation, Inner Light, expands visitors' experience into the realms of filtered, refracted and reflected light. Incorporating over 900 LED lights that can be manually adjusted by the viewer, Inner Light invites viewers to contemplate how the source and intensity of light affects their physical and emotional responses to a piece.
Gallery owner Rick Scalf looks forward to the public’s response. "We are very excited to be hosting such a unique exhibit and encourage all of Lexington not to miss this opportunity to participate first hand in this collaborative work."
The gallery will also feature a tribute board dedicated to U.S. military, veterans and first responders, featuring Shatner’s floral photography piece, Courage. Visitors to the gallery are encouraged to write their own tributes onto the board. Once it is filled, the final piece will be donated to Shatner's The All Glory Project, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that supports equine- and canine-assisted therapies for veterans and their families.
The exhibit “Into the Light: An Exponential Art Experience” runs July 17 – August 30 at the Rick Scalf Gallery in downtown Lexington. Admission to the gallery is free. The opening Artist’s Reception with Elizabeth Shatner, wife of actor William Shatner, will be held from 5pm-7pm on during Lexington's Gallery Hop on July 17th.