Campus & Community

Oregon artist kicks off CfA’s program

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Mariana Tres, an artist from Portland, Ore., whose work has been inspired by an array of astronomical imagery and phenomena, has been invited to be the Center for Astrophysics’ (CfA’s) first artist in residence.

For the past five years, Tres has been drawing images of meteorites, impactites, and other astronomical phenomena for her work. “This is an amazing opportunity – just looking through the historical photographic plate collection is a fascinating, time–travel–like experience,” Tres said.

During her residence, Tres will have access to the photographic plate collection and a variety of other resources at the CfA. She will also be working with images from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Similar residence programs for artists are held at national parks. However, this new CfA residence will be the first one inspired by astronomy and the cosmos. Tres’ residence extends through 2002 and will culminate with a special show and public lecture, at which time she will present the CfA with one of her new works.

Rick Harnden, president of CfA Social and Recreation Club, who has been working closely with Tres, added: “We view this as a marvelous opportunity for encouraging CfA staff to see their workplace anew – to look through an artist’s eyes at the work they do.”

Tres has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and holds a B.S. from Drexel University. Her work has been shown in Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Seattle. She is a faculty member at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory form the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Headquartered in Cambridge, CfA scientists study the physical characteristics and evolution of the universe.

In addition to facilities in Cambridge, the CfA has researchers or facilities in Amado, Ariz; Las Campanas, Chile; Mauna Kea, Hawaii; Harvard, Mass.; and at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The largest field facility is the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins near Tucson, Ariz.

For information about the CfA, visit, or call the public affairs office at (617) 495-7463.