Press Contact: Trish Palao, Marketing and Communications Manager
Montshire Museum of Science, One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 

802-649-2200 x222 |

Planetary Landscapes: Sculpting the Solar System

Jan 14, 2009
For Immediate Release

NORWICH, VERMONT-- Imagine passing your hand through a cauldron of billowing fog, activating a vortex akin to the dust devils of the Martian atmosphere, or altering the patterns of thousands of tiny steel balls as they cascade and generate electrical charges. Internationally renowned artist Ned Kahn brings these experiences to life through his exhibition Planetary Landscapes: Sculpting the Solar System, opening at the Montshire Museum of Science on Saturday, January 17.

Kahn's interactive sculptures are designed to explore, in constantly varying patterns, the dynamic forces that shape our solar system. Kahn's fascination with astronomy was sparked by images: "You see a picture of a galaxy," he says, "and you know that stars are speeding through it, gases are flowing in, and jets of plasma are shooting out. I wanted to see these things move. I wanted to animate these images; that was my jumping-off point."

To accomplish this, the artist combines familiar elements like fog and air, water and sand, air and water. The fluid, ever-changing results often bear startling resemblances to astronomical phenomena. "It's sort of mind-boggling," Kahn says gleefully, "that a whole bunch of stars can behave in ways that are somewhat similar to a whole bunch of tiny water droplets."

In Planetary Landscapes, Ned Kahn has created an entire family of artwork that brings vast natural processes within our reach, and sends our imaginations on a journey through the cosmos. The exhibition will remain at the Montshire Museum through Sunday, March 15 thanks to local support from Hypertherm, Inc. Planetary Landscapes was developed by the Chabot Space & Science Center with support from the National Science Foundation.

If you would like to set up an interview with artist Ned Kahn, contact Beth Krusi at 802-649-2200 x222 or