DUNEDIN — Sure, the stars can be seen at night in Dunedin, but the entire universe will be on display through art this weekend at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
The spectacle begins today with the opening of four out-of-this-world art exhibits that include works by husband and wife team Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen of Houston.
On Saturday, bring the family to explore Kid's Art Fest 2012 and meet an astronaut.
Today's activities revolve around exhibitions with names such as "Beam Me Up," "Intergalactic," "My Favorite Martian" and "Blast Off." The festivities begin with an Artist Talk featuring Hillerbrand and Magsamen and other artists from the Fine Art Center. A reception with food, drink and live music follows.
While admission to the exhibits is usually free, there is a $5 admission charge for nonmembers to attend the Artist Talk and reception. Admission for members remains free.
Hillerbrand and Magsamen, who will present their exhibition of photographs and videos entitled "Beam Me Up," were most recently showcased in a Lens blog article in the Aug. 29 New York Times. (View it at tinyurl.com/ck984nd.)
"We are thrilled to be exhibiting our photographs and videos with Dunedin Fine Art Center as part of "Beam Me Up," said Hillerbrand and Magsamen. "We are also looking forward to sharing more information at the Artist Talk about our crazy family and collaborative artistic practice, and we will even have our two children Madeleine and Emmett with us."
While the excitement launches today, it propels into Saturday with Kid's Art Fest. The day-long festival, co-presented with the Kiwanis Club of Dunedin, features someone who knows all about space travel from a personal perspective.
Seeing Nicole Passonno Stott in person would be reason enough for many to stop bykids festival, but the astronaut will also present awards for the space-themed "Blast Off" exhibit in the Kokolakis Family Youth Gallery, then give a talk and even sign autographs.
"The Kid's Art Fest is going to be out of this world, almost beyond description," said Todd Still, director of youth education. "We'll have an astronaut visiting, music arranged for this specific event by the Bone South group, and melodies being played from well-known space movies."
A new space installation in the David L. Mason Children's Art Museum at the center, games, food, music and take-home art activities will surely make this a day to remember.
"The opening of the new children's hands-on museum has a huge space station up in the ceiling and a painting of an astronaut floating above the space shuttle," said Still. "We have a Gemini capsule the kids can lie in on their backs and draw with magnets. You can paint a car. People can be inside and outside the building doing art activities. It's going to be groovy."