Nobel Prize-winning chemist to show artistic side at AVC Art Gallery

Nobel Prize-winning chemist Wally Gilbert will bring his artistic side to Antelope Valley College’s Art Gallery for a solo exhibition of his photography and digital drawing Feb. 6-March 9.

An artist’s reception will be held 7-9 p.m. Feb. 16, which will include a 7:30 p.m. talk by Gilbert.

The show, “Wally Gilbert: Pattern and Recognition,” showcases Gilbert’s breadth as an artist while exploring the creative drives underscoring his work, according to curator Christine Mugnolo.

“I create unique photographic images of fragments of scenes, working on a border between visual reality and the emotional abstract, exploring pattern, color, form, and texture,” Gilbert writes.

“I am delighted by strong colors, such as those in the images of stamens, where close-ups are transformed digitally to attain wildly different vibrant color patterns.”

He considers the computer as both a “digital darkroom … (and) my lens to create new realities for the viewer.”

“Mr. Gilbert’s images are both organically and geometrically sensuous, hovering between recognizable form and abstraction,” said Mugnolo.

Although Gilbert’s work has been featured in solo exhibits in Europe and the United States, it is his work in science that first received widespread acclaim.

Gilbert was a professor of theoretical physics at Harvard University and practicing molecular biologist when he was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering a rapid DNA sequencing method.

He sees a link between the seemingly pergent fields of science and art.

"Over the years that I was active in science, I saw a great commonality in the creative impulse - in the artist's impulse and the scientist's - that overrides this issue of who's using numbers and who isn't," he said.

Noting the cutting edge work being done in aerospace and science within the “Aerospace Valley,” Mugnolo said AVC is “particularly honored to showcase an artist whose complex career speaks to its community.”

All gallery shows are free and open to the public. The gallery is located in FA1, located on the west side of the campus, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information call (661) 722-6300, ext. 6215.