LAST CHANCE: ‘Meditations on Nature’ Blends Works by a Scientist and a Poet

Art by biology professor Caryn Babaian and Bucks County poet Patricia Goodrich are featured at the Hicks Art Center Gallery through 8 p.m. TODAY.  

The Hicks Art Center Gallery at Bucks County Community College proudly presents Meditations on Nature through October 16 on the college’s Newtown campus. 

Curated by Fran Orlando, Meditations on Nature features the works of two Bucks County artists whose relationship with the natural world is central to their artistic practice: artist/biologist Caryn Babaian and artist/poet Patricia Goodrich.

Babaian, who also teaches biology at the college, synthesizes the complexity, beauty and cyclical nature of biological systems with meditation and consciousness development in her large chalkboard mandalas. 

Her work, such as A Bioluminescent Home: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2013, chalk, pencil & phosphorescent paint, 4’ x 4’; pictured, left), has won awards from the National Science Foundation. Babaian was also featured on the PBS TV series “Nova: The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers.”

Meanwhile, Goodrich grew up “grounded in earth, water and sky.” Her gallery installation melds sculpture and earthworks into a profound expression of reverence for the environment.

As a visual artist, Goodrich has received fellowships and residencies through the Andy Warhol Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Europos Parkas (Lithuania), among others. Her paintings, photographs, sculpture, and earthworks are in collections in Haiti, Lithuania, Morocco, Russia, Romania, Turkey and U.S.A.  Her work Black Flame (Shoshone River stone on Coopersburg black granite, 24” x 19” x 12”) is pictured, below right.  She has also published several books of poetry, including How the Moose Got to Be (2012), and served as 2005 Bucks County Poet Laureate.

At the entrance to Hicks Art Center, a permanent “back-to-nature garden” of native plants, designed and planted by students and volunteers in spring of 2013, engages visitors in the natural world as the enter and leave the gallery.

Meditations on Nature is designed to encourage the visitor to contemplate the beauty of both art and nature, according to Orlando, the curator.

“Historically, meditation has been practiced within religious traditions as a form of prayer or a way to develop compassion and spiritual awareness. On the other hand, meditation can simply refer to contemplation or thought,” Orlando explained. “The work of these two artists embraces and encourages both practices.”

The Hicks Art Center Gallery is located on the campus of Bucks County Community College at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940, where there is ample free parking. Admission is free. For gallery hours and more information, visit www.bucks.edu/gallery or call 215-968-8425.

The Hicks Art Center Gallery receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Jean Dolan
Assistant Director, Public Relations
215-968-8094/8093