Orlando Science Center has unveiled a mixed media art installation that local artist Christy McCutchen custom-created as a tribute to victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub tragedy. The piece will remain on display permanently at the Science Center, along with other pieces in the newly renovated Fusion: A STEAM Gallery exhibit area.
After the 2016 tragedy, Orlando Science Center invited members of the community to write messages of love and fold their notes into origami hearts. The rainbow-colored hearts were hung on OSC’s bridge entrance in 49 rows with 49 hearts per row.
The installation received such positive feedback from the community that the Science Center developed a plan for a more permanent memorial. In fall 2017, the paper hearts on the bridge were replaced with more durable crystal ones, and the Science Center sent out a call for artists to propose a new project that would recycle the original paper hearts.
Christy McCutchen was selected among the artists who submitted proposals. Her project, titled Facets of Love, uses the paper hearts and other materials “as a celebration of our community and diversity, and people coming together after a tragedy,” she said.
The piece is multi-dimensional and reminiscent of a kaleidoscope or stained-glass window. The different layers incorporate not just the hearts from the Love Bridge, but also a transit map of Orlando by another local artist Nathan Selikoff; a star map of the night sky on the night of June 12, 2016; and ambient lighting.
“I think it’s really important that art and science intersect as much as possible,” McCutchen said. “Artistic connections made through intuition are often what spur scientific exploration. It’s the curiosity of the imaginative mind that begins to take a closer look.”
Guests now can view Facets of Love with general admission to Orlando Science Center. Installation is in progress of additional permanent art and technology pieces by other local artists. Traveling art exhibitions will also be displayed on a rotating basis, starting in late May.
About the Artist
Christy McCutchen earned her BFA at University of North Florida. Her work brims with fine lines and infinitely delicate details. It was her grandfather who introduced her to geology and that love paired with obsessing over Zhoa Meng Fu’s calligraphy is reflected in her contour-driven work. Her works explore themes of our inherent human connection to each other and all the intricacies of provincial grace we experience as we find ourselves alive in the universe at this moment.
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