The Adjacent Possible

A new exhibition about the experience of creating or viewing works of art.

Karen Fitzgerald, Day Blind New Moon, 2018, oil with 23k gold on panel.

Do you ever wonder what goes through an artist’s mind as they create, or how one processes the experience of viewing works of art? A new exhibition that opened at the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg in August ponders an area of science called neuroaesthetics and the consideration of how artists experience the creation of their work as well as the analysis of the viewer’s perspective when confronted with it. The Adjacent Possible, open through Sept. 27, brings first-hand experiential interaction with contemporary abstract works from a dozen living artists from around the world, including Michelle Benoit, Phil Chang, Stefan Chinov, and Jaynie Crimmins. The exhibition, which sets out to examine the role of creativity and cognition, grew out of a collaboration between an artist and curator, Elizabeth Mead from the Department of Art and Art History at William & Mary and her colleague Jennifer Stevens, a neuroscience professor. “Collaboration is at the very heart of the liberal arts, and this exhibition exemplifies that core value,” says Mead, adding that the exhibition is “a spectacular opportunity for our students as well as the community at large to experience their work first hand and to see the liberal arts in action.” Muscarelle.org


This article originally appeared in our October 2019 issue.

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