GEOMAGIC: Art, Science and the Zuhl Collection


When we have unified enough certain knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here. – Edward O. Wilson

GEOMAGIC: Art, Science and the Zuhl Collection is an interdisciplinary exhibition that creates a visual laboratory and educational space unifying contemporary visual art, geology, and other natural sciences into a hypothetical space. GEOMAGIC creates a platform to explore ontological responses to spirituality, technology, and anthropogenic geological concerns of preservation in relation to the natural environment.

GEOMAGIC pairs works from the Zuhl collection, a Wunderkammer-like collection of over 1,800 specimens of petrified wood,fossils and minerals on the campus of New Mexico State University, with contemporary artists, who within their practice, utilize various mediums that resemble, echo, and mimic the geological to explore our ever-evolving scientific and technological landscape.

Like the many cultures that look for wisdom and signs from the physicality of our Earth, the artists included in this exhibition draw on the knowledge and historical significance of natural specimens to inform their practice. The minerals, crystals, fossils, and woods that exist in the Zuhl collection are a form of New Age geomancy or alchemy; and like our earliest master painters who ground up minerals to make their magic on canvasses, our contemporary artists’ cull from multiple mediums referencing forms of nature as the influence for their often speculative science-based creations. The displays and programs associated with GEOMAGIC will act as dialogical intersections for critical learning by all-age community members. Works like “Fossil Necklace,” by the artist Katie Paterson and made in collabor ation with scientists, is comprised of 170 carved fossils, spans geological time, and addresses the implications of human activities and our global impact. From the Zuhl Collection, the selection of petrified wood, fossils, and minerals will help audiences of all ages examine the interpretations of the natural world and provide social and environmental contexts for the artworks.

GEOMAGIC emerges as an investigation into the new heights we might reach if the walls of the disciplines continue to fall and research-based practices converge to reach new solutions to the most complex questions of our anthropocentric times.

Featured artists will include: Christine Gray, Jason Middlebrook, Megan Harrison, Amy Brener, Laura Moriarty, Katie Paterson, Emily Nachison, Christine Nguyen, Andrew Yang and Ryan Thompson.

This exhibition was made possible by an Art Works grant from The National Endowment for the Arts. 

Read more press here: The University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University will receive a $15,000 Art Works award from The National Endowment for the Arts for its interdisciplinary exhibition, “GEOMAGIC: Art, Science and the Zuhl Collection.”


GEOMAGIC Programming: 

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GEOMAGIC: Collaborative Lecture

Artist Amy Brener (via Skype) and Geologist Emily Johnson

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, 6 PM

University Art Gallery

AtramentiteLrgCrystal.2_1250-756x1024.jpgGEOMAGIC: An Evening of Performance

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, 6 PM

University Art Gallery

Megan Harrison / Jimmy James Canales

Larissa Lury

NMSU Collaborative Theatre-Making Students

With a Meet and Greet intermission sponsored by the Friends of the University Art Gallery at 7 PM




Untitled-2-300x120.jpgGEOMAGIC Skype Lecture: Mythologizing Natural Phenomena, Scientific History, and New-Age Idealism
Artists: Christine Gray and Emily Nachison
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, 6pm
University Art Gallery


GEOMAGIC Panel: The Role of Multidisciplinary Institutions and Collections in Small Communities
Moderated by Tiffany Santos & Michelle Lanteri
Feat. Kim Hanson, Kelsey McNamara, and Sara Woodbury
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, 6 PM
University Art Gallery



GEOMAGIC Lecture: Time, Sediment, and Collective Transformation

Artist Andrew Yang (via Skype) and Geologist Brian Hampton
Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, 6 PM
University Art Gallery


GEOMAGIC Lecture: Color, Geology, Chemistry, and Relationships Between Humans and the Natural World
Artist Ryan Thompson and Geologist Nancy J. McMillan
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, 6 PM
University Art Gallery

Click Here to Watch the Lecture!


GEOMAGIC-300x231.pngPublic Opening: Thursday, September 8, 6-8 PM
Live Music by Em and the Pop Jazz Band; Light Refreshments