The following is from a press release by News Travels Fast and the Boca Raton Museum of Art:

 

COSMIC WONDERS BY SILVERPOINT

Carol Prusa Probes the Mysteries of the Universe

and Honors the Women Astronomers

Who Mapped the Stars

Photo of artwork

Carol Prusa, Cosmic Web (for the Harvard Observatory Computers), 2018,

Silverpoint graphite titanium white, mars black, stainless steel pigment with acrylic binder

on acrylic dome with internal light. Courtesy of the artist.   

 

Carol Prusa: Dark Light

August 20 – January 19

at Boca Raton Museum of Art

 

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon, the Boca Raton Museum of Art pays tribute to this milestone year by charting a different course that stands out from the rest, with the new exhibition Carol Prusa: Dark Light. On this journey, the artist invites viewers to honor the women astronomers who originally helped map the stars as she takes flight across the mysteries of deep space.

 

Some of the pioneering women astronomers from the 1800s honored in this exhibition (left-to-right): Maria Mitchell Looking Through a Telescope, painting by Herminia B. Dassel, circa 1851, and Mitchell with her first all-women Astronomy class at Vassar College.

 

 

Her new exhibition is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, the Senior Curator of the Museum, and features never-before-seen works created specifically for this show – meticulous creations handmade by the artist using her signature silverpoint technique. The exhibition opens August 20 and remains on view until January 19. The artist, Carol Prusa, lives in Boca Raton and currently teaches painting as a Professor of Art at Florida Atlantic University.

 

Photo of artwork

 

“When we get too distracted by the details in our daily lives, that is when we particularly need artists like Carol Prusa to expand our horizons into the solar system, into the deeper unknown of dark space.” said Irvin Lippman, the Executive Director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

 

“As Carol explains, she has always been interested in science and cosmology. In the sixth grade she wondered about the Big Bang and ‘how it could be that there was nothing before there was something.’

 

Photo of artwork

Carol Prusa, Quintessence, Silverpoint, graphite, acrylic on acrylic hemisphere

with lens and internal video player/video, 2019

 

 

Prusa combines surprising materials such as sculpted resin, fiberglass, metal leaf, LED lights, black iron oxide, titanium, and powdered steel with the ancient craft of silverpoint, resulting in ethereal creations that command curiosity. Carol Prusa: Dark Light includes silverpoint, graphite and acrylic works on plexiglass and wood panels; light-speckled domes with internal lights and video.

“Carol Prusa is a visual alchemist whose work harnesses cosmic chaos and makes invisible forces materialize before our eyes,” writes Logan Royce Beitmen in the exhibition catalogue. “Drawing with actual silver and painting with powdered steel, Prusa’s use of materials defies expectations.”

 

      

 

Prusa created a new series of prints for this exhibition, honoring the contributions made to science and astronomy by women who spearheaded early efforts to map the heavens. She was inspired by the life and accomplishments of Maria Mitchell, the first woman elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (in 1848), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (in 1850).

 

Maria Mitchell Looking Through a Telescope, painting by Herminia B. Dassel, circa 1851

 

Mitchell was a pioneering advocate for math and science education for girls and was the first female astronomy professor. In 1847, Mitchell was the first person ever to discover a comet via telescope that was too remote to see with the naked eye. Her discovery would be named “Miss Mitchell’s Comet.” King Frederick VI of Denmark had offered a prize for such first identifications of telescopic comets, and awarded her a gold medal.

She also became famous for leading her female astronomy students on expeditions to see eclipses in Iowa (1869) and in Denver (1878). Their observations would reach a national scientific audience. Her goal – bold at that time – was to encourage other women into her profession, at the dawn of America’s scientific age. Later astronomers honored her by naming a lunar crater “Mitchell Crater.”

 

Maria Mitchell poses with the first Astronomy class at Vassar College

from www.vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/faculty/original-faculty/maria-mitchell1.html

 

 

Following in Mitchell’s footsteps to witness solar eclipses, Carol Prusa was inspired to create these new works by the life-changing effects she felt while witnessing eclipses in Nebraska and Chile.

Prusa’s favorite quote by Mitchell captures the spirit of this exhibition: “We seize only a little bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.

 

Carol Prusa, Totality, 2018, silverpoint, graphite, titanium white pigment with acrylic binder

on 1/4″ acrylic circle. Courtesy of the Artist.

 

 

There were many women astronomers throughout history who led the charge in the field of astronomy, but with little recognition. Prusa’s new suite of prints challenges this lapse by honoring these women astronomers: Maria Mitchell, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Vera Rubin, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

 

Maria Mitchell (seated) in her observatory at Vassar College, circa 1877.

Photo from “Heroes of Progress: Stories of Successful Americans” by Eva March Tappan, 1921.

 

 

The portfolio of new prints by Prusa is called Galaxias Kyklos (the Greek term for the Milky Way), and the title page gloriously depicts Ourania, the muse of astronomy in Greek mythology.

 

Photo of artwork

Carol Prusa, Ourania, 2019, from Galaxias Kyklos

(suite of prints in laser etched plexi box with letterpress colophon).

 

 

Other artworks in the exhibition are dedicated to women who served as human “computers” at the Harvard Observatory in the 19th century, painstakingly analyzing the many glass photographic plates from observatories around the world to map the stars.

The earnings of these women were substantially less than men in their field, and their labor too went unrecognized. Another woman scientist honored in this body of work is Rebecca Elson. She was a theoretical astrophysicist whose research focused on dark matter who died of lymphoma in 1999 at the young age of 39 and was also an accomplished poet.

 

 

Carol Prusa in Atacama, Chile, where she traveled to witness an eclipse.

 

 

“I am especially drawn to ideas and experiences that unsettle and coalesce in my art,” said Prusa. “Seeing a total eclipse for the first time, I was blown away by a euphoric feeling of floating, I was so moved that I literally fell backward.

“When the shadow of the eclipse passed over, the world changed in a way I had never experienced before. The sun became a sharp black disc, Venus popped out and the sky to my right was night and to my left it was day. I was compelled to create this body of work to come to terms with this overwhelming feeling,” adds Prusa.

The ethereal video below is part of the interior of one of the new artworks created for this exhibition: vimeo.com/353251363

 

Carol Prusa: Dark Light (video) from News Travels Fast on Vimeo.

 

 

ABOUT THE AGE-OLD MAGIC OF SILVERPOINT

The age-old method has been used by artists, scribes and artisans since ancient times. The silverpoint stylus itself is a small stick of silver inserted into a wooden rod, similar to a pencil (except silver is used instead of lead). Silverpoint drawings are created by making a mark on a surface with this rod or wire made out of silver.

The photographer Bruce Weber has proclaimed that Carol Prusa is “one of the most innovative artists working in metalpoint today.”

Prusa has always been fascinated by science and cosmology, and learned silverpoint technique while teaching in Florence. Some of Prusa’s inspiration comes from the sciences of astrophysics, meteorology, and optics. She also incorporates Russian Orthodox and Tibetan Buddhist art-making traditions that she studied in the 1990s.

 

 

Just one of these works can take thousands of hours to create depending on the work’s complexity and size. The artist worked for countless hours on each individual artwork in this exhibition. Like her cosmic subject matter, her process of artmaking is extremely detailed, vast, and is considered awe-inspiring by her peers.

Prusa was nominated by Judy Pfaff and chosen by the American Academy of Arts and Letters as one of only 40 artists to exhibit in the 2015 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, NYC (the selection committee that year was chaired by Eric Fischl).

“My practice becomes for me like a form of meditation that leads to bliss, like a Buddhist prayer,” said Carol Prusa. “The time-intensive process expands my introspection and reverie about our universe.”

Prusa’s work begins with her process of reading and research, but resolves with a tone of strange beauty encapsulating what it feels like to be alive.

 

 

Silverpoint itself is reminiscent of mercury, a liquid, and for Prusa, these works reflect the alchemical and transformational nature of art. She hopes viewers will pause and consider the abundance and fertility of life and how all things are interconnected.

Prusa studied embryology as part of her original training to become a medical illustrator, which she abandoned once she became an artist instead.

All of the works in this show have circular motifs, spheres that Prusa intended to spark a sense of infinity for the viewer. Although circles and spherical openings may imply feminine forms, Prusa has also created embryonic works that represent pure potential not limited to gender – like the pioneer women astronomers who transcended gender bias of their time to help create the maps of space that helped make the first landing on the moon a possibility for humanity.

 

Carol Prusa, (Detail) Nebula, 2019, Silverpoint, graphite, acrylic on acrylic dome

with internal light. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

“When I started to make this new series about eclipses, I drew upon my powerful memories of what it felt like to witness these astronomical wonders,” said Prusa. “An eclipse is dark light.”

 

Black, no matter how dark, still reflects light. I wanted to make black have depth and structure, and to be infinite. The eclipses influenced me in this respect, but this could also be a reflection on the times we live in. There isn’t dark without light ─ or light without dark.

 

Carol Prusa, Dark Light (Elegy for Rebecca Elson), 2019,

Silverpoint, graphite, acrylic on wood panel. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 


SPECIAL EVENTS

MEMBERS MIDSUMMER “COSMOS” PARTY & OPENING RECEPTION

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 (6:00-8:00 p.m.) RSVP required by August 13. Free for Members (Non-Member price: $25.00) Celebrate the exhibition opening of Carol Prusa: Dark Light with live DJ, light bites, and libations. Members Midsummer “Cosmos” Party is part of Boca Chamber Festival Days – a series of fun-filled events held at different locations during the month of August – and is facilitated by the Boca Chamber. Purchase tickets here

CAROL PRUSA: DARK LIGHT (Lecture)

Thursday, September 5 (6:00-7:00 p.m.) Florida Atlantic University professor Carol Prusa explores the liminal space between knowing and not knowing, a location artists and scientists share. She discusses her artwork in the exhibition Dark Light and the research and events that gave rise to this new body of work.

Free for Members. (Non-Member Price: $15.00). Purchase tickets here


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Media Contacts: Jose Lima and Bill Spring, 305-910-7762, jose@newstravelsfast.com

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self-development & spiritual growth

We live in a world that breathes competition. In fact, we try so hard to keep up with its demands that we barely have time to really evaluate the things that matter to us. This is why self-development has never been more important than today.

 

In its essence, self-development is about taking a conscious evolution towards becoming a better person. To get to this goal, you must grow physically, mentally and spiritually. It is a journey that you must take, especially if you want to experience a new and more meaningful life.

 

 

Path to Spiritual Growth

 

The first and probably most important step to self-development is through spiritual growth. It is a journey that allows you to open up your heart and mind to the possibility of improving your life by changing your beliefs.

 

It’s about gaining an appreciation of what you already have and focusing on a better life purpose rather than living a life on material beliefs.

 

Contrary to what most believe, spiritual growth doesn’t have to mean being religious. Finding spirituality is, after all, a unique journey for each person and can only be done with the help of other people and several resources.

 

 

Path to Mental Growth

 

In such a highly demanding and fast-paced world, a lot of people break down because they don’t have the necessary tools to take control of their emotions, manage their relationships and maintain a positive perspective in life.

 

This is why mental growth is highly lauded in psychology because it allows people to enjoy life and avoid or manage the most common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

 

One of the best ways to achieve mental growth is to strengthen the mind. According to a study in Boston.com suggests that developing “a new skill” and participating in a “steady activity” are some of the ways to help develop and strengthen the mind. It also helps to “replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts,” according to a Forbes article entitled “5 Powerful Exercises to Increase Your Mental Strength.”

 

 

Path to Physical Growth

 

The connection between mental and spiritual growth is further strengthened with the help of physical growth. In fact, they are so intertwined that one improves the benefits of the other and the lack of one may affect the overall result.

 

For instance, the desire to grow physically begins with the mind and the result of your physical efforts will depend on your attitude towards achieving your goal.

 

The first step towards achieving physical growth is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Having a sense of direction will ultimately lead you to success.

 

Begin by defining wellness and what it means for you as a person. Each journey to physical growth is unique, so it makes perfect sense to understand what wellness path you want to take.

 

 

Self-development is a Journey Worth Taking

 

At the end of the day, the journey to self-development is something that should consciously be taken by everyone. After all, it’s only after we develop ourselves that we truly live the best life.

 

cosmic art

Astrology has always been a fascinating subject for many people around the world.

 

From cosmic art to horoscopes, the curiosity for what the stars and the phases of the moon has to say about the future has made astrology one of the most studied topics today.

 

But what exactly are the phases of the moon and how does it affect us?

 

 

New Moon, New Beginnings

 

The new moon is significant in astrology and all its aspects including cosmic art. This is a time when the sun and moon are on the same sign, which marks a time to make a mark in your life and re-evaluate your lifestyle choices.

 

The new moon is the perfect opportunity to make changes that reflect your pursuit of happiness.

 

 

Crescent Moon, Taking Charge

 

It is a time when the moon is halfway between the new and first quarter, and the crescent moon also marks the sprouting of new life.

 

With the new beginning taking place during the new moon phase, the crescent moon is the time to take charge, to actualize new objectives and get rid of the old ways to reach your goals.

 

 

First Quarter Moon, Building Foundations

 

With the moon waxing and the sun being square, it is time for great growth. During this time, you begin to build the foundation for your future and you work harder than ever to achieve your goals even if you are faced with huge challenges along the way.

 

 

Gibbous Moon, Reaping the Rewards

 

The gibbous moon is the time when the moon is halfway between the first quarter and full moon. This season signifies the beginning of your accomplishments when you slowly reap the rewards of your labor. As a result, you will be more inspired to keep on building the foundation of your dreams and break the status quo even further.

 

 

Full Moon, Clear Views

 

The time arrives when the moon and sun are in complete opposition to each other and it symbolizes your complete awareness of the effect of your work on the people around you.

 

Everything is becoming clear and you know exactly what you want but you’re still willing to accept the influences of those around you.

 

 

Disseminating Moon, Shedding Light

 

Just when the moon is starting to disappear halfway between the full and last quarter, you will find your purpose to shed light on others. You will finally see the fruit of your labor and realize your cycle coming into a full circle.

 

 

Last Quarter Moon, Breaking Down

 

As the moon starts to wane and the sun becomes square, you will also start to see the beginning of the end of your cycle. You have already harvested the fruit of your hard work and you are now ready to break down the old structure to make way for the new one.

 

 

Balsamic Moon, Coming Out

 

Finally, there is the balsamic moon, which is the time between the last quarter and the new moon. This is the signal of maturity where you now feel a bit of alienation from the existing social structure around you. You would want to make it on your own and you’re ready to come out stronger than ever.

spiritual self-development

For many people, the idea of self-development means exercising, eating right and getting enough rest. But not enough of us have heard of, or practice, spiritual self-care. For those who have, it’s easy to think that it is related to reading biblical texts, participating in worship services and observing rituals.

 

Spiritual self-care, however, encompasses all that. It is the practice of connecting to whatever is meaningful and holy to you. Spirituality can be found everywhere and with anyone and once you start embracing spiritual self-care as part of self-development, you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits in your life:

 

 

Re-Discover your Purpose and Meaning

We are all trying to keep up with this fast-paced world that we live in, don’t we? It’s so easy to get caught up in the middle of taking care of the family, doing well in a job and living up to other people’s expectations that you lose sight of what’s your purpose and meaning.

 

Spiritual self-care brings you back to that state of awareness and let you channel your energy towards things that matter most to you and not what the world is telling you to be.

 

 

Improve your Relationships

Do you often find yourself fighting with your spouse? Are you becoming more reluctant to spend time with friends? Stress and exhaustion can easily affect your relationships, but you can always turn things around by practicing spiritual self-care.

 

Taking the time to practice meditation can already do a lot to reduce your stress while doing yoga regularly aligns you with your inner self again, which can help you improve your relationships in the long run.

 

 

Identify the Things that Make you Genuinely Happy

You may be living in a huge house, driving a nice car and wearing the most expensive bag, but none of that will make you genuinely happy. Take time out of your day to go for a walk or spend the weekend outdoors.

 

Research shows that walking is beneficial to your mental health because it allows you to slow down and be present. You’ll also gain a sense of clarity on what makes you happy so you can focus your energy on them and not on material things that will only provide you fleeting joy.

 

 

Clear your Space

You meet a lot of people every day and you share conversations that can affect your energy at some point.

 

If you were to achieve self-development, you need to maintain a clear space around you through meditation and smudging, which uses cedar, incense or sage to clear your space.

 

 

Life is beautiful if you just let it be. While you’re surrounded by so many stressors and you’re living in a world that’s more fast-paced than ever before, you can still find that inner peace and good mental health by practicing spiritual self-care and taking the time to love yourself more.

 

By investing in self-development, you can also radiate your happiness to others and be able to love others better.

cosmic yoga mat

We all need a respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily life. We try to travel, dine out, spend time with friends or just be lazy at home. But none of these seem to give us that much-needed refresh from deep within.

 

Then, there’s yoga, an ancient combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in India.

 

Using a cosmic yoga mat from our store, and getting into different postures or “asanas” has got everyone from regular people to celebrities hooked on yoga, and for good reason. Aside from the obvious benefits of relaxation and even weight loss, yoga can also do these four things for your life:

 

 

Sense of Mindfulness

 

Living in this day and age can easily get you distracted because of everything that’s being thrown at you. But doing yoga on a cosmic yoga mat brings you back that sense of mindfulness where you can re-focus your attention on the things that are in the present.

 

Yoga has been known to increase mindfulness in all aspects of your life including eating habits. Mindful eating means enjoying your food rather than just eating for the sake of eating. People who practice yoga have been found out to have a deeper appreciation of food including its smell, feel and taste. They also do better at managing cravings, which help them stay healthy and fit.

 

 

 

Better Immune System

 

Practicing yoga is known to make you fit. But what you might not know is that being on that cosmic yoga mat can help stimulate your genes. According to a research study from the University of Oslo, practicing yoga for at least two hours stimulates 111 genes that help regulate immune cells as opposed to walking that only stimulates 38 genes.

 

 

 

An Appreciation of Body Image

 

The pressure to look good has never been more intense today, which is why a lot of people focus too much on physical appearance rather than inner beauty. But yoga changes that perspective completely by making you more aware of the strength of your mind and body. If you’ve ever been in a yoga studio, you’ll notice that there are no mirrors or the lighting is dark all to create an inner awareness rather than an outer awareness of how you look on your cosmic yoga mat.

 

 

 

Improvement in Cardiovascular Health

 

Several studies have proven that yoga can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. For instance, it helps regulate blood pressure in people who have hypertension and it improves lipid profiles in patients with coronary artery diseases.

 

Practicing yoga is also included in several cardiac rehabilitation programs because of its benefits.

 

Yoga has been practiced for hundreds of years because it works. Aside from offering you these amazing health and wellness benefits, yoga is also an act of self-care and self-love, which we all badly need in a time when the world seems to revolve so fast.

spirituality and health

Life has never been more fast-paced than it is today. And in the middle of it all, it’s easy to find yourself struggling to find your inner peace and wellbeing. Of course, your health also suffers in the long run, especially if you don’t make time to take care of yourself.

 

The journey to wellbeing through spirituality and health has long been a cause of discussion in the medical world, and studies have proven that spirituality has an important role to play in promoting health and healing.

 

 

Defining Spirituality

There is no one definition of spirituality because it can mean different things from one person to the other. Some may see spirituality as being part of a religious organization while others may treat it as a non-religious practice.

 

Still, others may look at spirituality as a combination of both religious and non-religious practices. But while definitions may vary, one thing’s for sure: spirituality brings a higher purpose into a person’s life.

 

 

Role of Spirituality in Health

With the debate on the correlation between spirituality and health, studies have been conducted to closely examine the impact of spiritual practices in boosting health and they revealed that:

 

 

Spirituality can help Depression

 

Depression is one of the most common and devastating mental illnesses in the world, and it is mostly triggered when someone starts to isolate themselves.

 

Most spiritual practices, however, encourage social engagement and being involved in activities such as volunteering or attending yoga classes pulls a depressed person out of isolation and offers them a more positive environment where depression cannot thrive.

 

 

Spirituality can Restore a Sense of Purpose

 

Sometimes, health conditions are just physical manifestations of spiritual problems. Proof of this is how stress is a common predisposing factor in many illnesses including hypertension and heart disease.

 

With spiritual counseling, a chaplain will help an affected individual to deal with the stresses of their life through acceptance and finding ways to turn their weaknesses into strengths. This helps restore their sense of purpose and thus, keeps them emotionally healthier, which in turn could lead to better physical health.

 

 

Spirituality Boosts the Immune System

 

The world is filled with a ton of stressors, most of which one cannot control. And when stress becomes too much, it takes a toll on one’s immune system and may lead to different health and mental issues that affect an individual’s quality of life.

 

However, it has been found that practicing spiritual activities such as praying, meditating or spending time with nature can help boost the immune system to fight illnesses or help an individual recover from an existing health condition.

 

 

Spirituality and health are at the end of the day, intertwined with each other. They are both important aspects of life and one benefits the other to promote wellbeing in an individual. This is why spiritual healthcare is now introduced in the medical setting because it has been proven that offering empathy and support to a patient has a huge impact to their prognosis and quality of life in the long run.