Smith Center Presents SOFAlab Acts of Translation

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SOFAlab: Acts of Translation 

-Opens Friday, May 18, 7-9pm 

Acts of Translation Between Art, Science, and Medicine

 As mentioned in earlier post – Smith Center for Healing and the Arts has been host for SOFAlab – “Science of Art Laboratory” - created to initiate the spark of communication and to look for commonalities that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts. The collaborative project  created will be unveiled this coming Friday – at 7 pm. 
 
SOFAlab Panelists:
Caroline Wellbery, Medical Doctor, Associate Professor, Georgetown University, PhD in Comparative Literature

Erwin Timmers, Green Artist, MFA Design Arts and Architecture, Co-founder Washington Glass School

The panels intended to illuminate new ways of thinking by showcasing conversations that bridge the healing arts, environmental realities, neuro-sciences and collaborative networking in the creation of art; and conversely to examine effective new scientific and medical observations, answering questions about how art and science instruct and help one another in raising awareness about environmental responsibility in the area of health care.

Looking at the collaborative efforts of three teams of artists and scientists, the evening will unfold their various conversations and inquiries as they have worked together to explore new avenues of awareness.

The collaborative team led by Caroline Wellbery and Erwin Timmers considered medical waste and its environmental impact. By looking at areas of concern that mutually affect artists and healers, they have developed conversations and questions about how art and science instruct and help one another in raising awareness about environmental responsibility in the area of health care.

The panel is funded by George Mason University’s Center for Consciousness and Transformation and coordinated by Shanti Norris, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts; Paul So, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University; Helen Frederick, School of Art, George Mason University; and Hamiltonian Gallery. Interns Alex Giller, Aaron Van Andel, Scott Jemielity and Erwin Thamm assisted the program in 2011-12.

Opens Friday, May 18, 7-9pm 

SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS : community. creativity. cancer support.

1632 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 

Erwin Timmers finishes up the mounting of the collaborative artwork that deals with issues of medical waste.

Science of Art Laboratory (SOFAlab) at The Glass School

Erwin Timmers, Dr Caroline Wellberry and the students working on the SOFAlab collaborative art project.
photo by Elmo Thamm

Medical waste and its impact on climate change was the connective theme of the collaborative work. Using glass diverted from the waste stream, the Georgetown University students and Residents from the Fort Lincoln Clinic worked with Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Erwin Timmers this past weekend. The resulting glass and steel sculpture will be exhibited at Smith Center Gallery in May.

“Science of Art Laboratory” (SOFALab) was created to initiate the spark of communication and to look for commonalities that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts with the aim that these interactions and findings can affect boarder intellectual and/or social changes.

The project is a collaborative effort from the Executive Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Shanti Norris; the Director of Printmaking at George Mason University, Helen Fredrick; and the Founder of Hamiltonian Artists and physics professor of George Mason University, Paul So. The SOFAlab is generously supported by the Center for Consciousness and Transformation from George Mason University.

The students listen as Erwin Timmers outlines the mold-making process.
photo by Elmo Thamm

Erwin Timmers and Helen Fredrick consult about the kiln-firing process.


Glass will be cast into the imagery that is formed in the kilns.
photo by Elmo Thamm


A Georgetown medical student gets to practice his surgical precision with moldmaking in the kiln. Just like the game of Operation, a steady hand is requisite.
Erwin Timmers has found the perfect element to cast into glass.
photo by Elmo ThammMore info to follow after the work is mounted and the show is all set in the Smith Farm Gallery – stay posted!

Hamiltonian SOFAlab @ Washington Glass School

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Hamiltonian SOFAlab meeting at L- R
Helen Frederick, Erwin Timmers, Paul So, Caroline Wellberry, Shanti Norris

Hamiltonian Artists seeks to broaden the cultural dialogue within our modern community. One of the arts program to further the dialogue is SOFAlab – where scientists and artists are paired for collaborative interaction. SOFAlab asks: How and where do art and science – two seemingly disparate disciplines of intellectual inquiry – overlap? And, at that confluence, what can practitioners of both disciplines learn to expand their unique fields of knowledge and to affect consciousness?

Hamiltonian Artists, Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts and George Mason University have been furthering the dialog thru a series of “laboratory/studio” exchanges in which artists are be invited to observe and participate in laboratory sessions and scientists will be invited into artist’s studios for collaborative projects. Exploring similarities and differences in how scientists and artists use experimentation and visualization in their search for larger truths and making sense of the universe. The leader in recycled glass artwork, Erwin Timmers is collaborating with scientist Caroline Wellberry in the latest project.

Funding for this program was provided by:

Center for Consciousness and Transformation, George Mason University

with support from Hamiltonian Artists, Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts,

and George Mason University School of Art & Design.