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The Nature of Art: Experience the Bell Museum All Night


The Bell Museum’s ExploraDome planetarium is a great metaphor for Northern Spark which boasts “hands-on, minds-on” learning as visitors travel from the subatomic realm to the edge of the known universe. It’s not a secret that our collective vision of the universe is cloaked in night. That mysterious quality of the Way Out There is accessible in our own backyards. Science is one of the ways we turn on the light, transforming the unknown into the known.

In this first of three installments about the University of Minnesota— or Zone F—for Northern Spark, we are featuring the Bell Museum of Natural History. The Bell Museum is Minnesota’s state natural history museum with the mission to “discover, document, and understand nature and promote informed stewardship of our world”. This Northern Spark venue is truly the Night at the Museum dream, tramping around our own natural history on display.

The night of June 14, the Bell Museum is hosting four projects. Don’t miss Andy DuCett, the Bell Museum’s Resident Artist, show off his work beyond the diorama glass. Since early spring, Andy has been imagining a series of works that bring white-tailed deer together with expeditionists and a gaggle of garden gnomes.

Minneapolis Art on Wheels members Aaron Westre, Andrea Steudel, and Ashley Monk, also part of the Resident Artist Research Project (Fall 2013), have created hybridized human and animal skulls. Enter the projection to experience yourself with a chimeric skeleton responsive to your movements!

Lastly, collect night-flying insects with U of M entomology students. This is a timed event, from sunset to 2 a.m in the Bell Museum’s outdoor diorama space. Special microscopes and viewing projectors will be available to help you see the unseen. Inside, there will be skeching materials to help you preserve your six-legged friend for artistic posterity.

Artists, philosophers, scientists, and toddlers fascinated with worms, have all pondered the relationship between nature and art. Come experience the Bell Museum all night to continue to ponder that relationship, and be surprised, inspired, and educated as you go.

The Bell Museum is located at the corner of University Avenue and SE Church Street (17th Avenue) in Minneapolis on the University of Minnesota campus.