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“Art Rocks” is open through February 22, 2015 at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS). This exhibition explores the earth science of Providence Canyon State Park (in Lumpkin, GA) and the art of en plein aire landscape painting. It is an exhibition of landscape paintings by Professor of Art William Jones alongside a geologic survey of the canyons by Professor of Earth Sciences Dr. James Hyatt, both from Eastern Connecticut State University. These two faculty members spent years investigating the art and sciences of the canyons. Rocks and Minerals from the Museum’s Education Collection are also on display.

Located in Southwest Georgia, Providence Canyon State Park is a spectacular, visually arresting landscape shaped by geologic processes of weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition. Also referred to as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, the area provides a stunning example of how much human-caused soil erosion can alter landscapes. The canyons now are nearly 200 feet deep but originally formed in response to land clearing and settlement of Stewart County in the early 1800s.

Row cropping and other land mismanagement practices concentrated water flowing over the land and created gullies that cut through the 70-million-year-old red and iron-rich Clayton Formation to expose the older and easily eroded white sands of the Providence Formation below. Eroded sediments were washed down the valley along slopes (colluvial) and rivers (alluvial), accumulated on the river bed, then buried previous landscapes, and created a stunning landscape that is of interest to both scientists and artists.

“There’s a very interesting history to this area where people and geology interact with one another, and one of the consequences that it yields is a truly beautiful landscape. While this landscape is interesting geologically and because of its human history, it’s equally impressive in terms of its inspirational value to artists and others that want to capture how the landscape connects to people,” said James Hyatt on Providence Canyon’s history.

Both Jones and Hyatt will travel to Macon for a Lunch and Learn lecture and a full-day en plein aire painting workshop. The Lunch and Learn lecture will include a light lunch followed by a presentation about Providence Canyon given by Drew Hyatt, Ph.D. The en plein air painting session will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Professor Andy Jones and will include the Lunch and Learn program and light lunch. A supply list for the painting workshop will be given when reservations are made. Reservations are required for both events.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Oconee EMC Foundation • Southern Rivers Energy Trust
Central Georgia EMC Foundation • SCANA


Human Gyroscope The Human Gyroscope in the Museum’s lobby is just one of the many new interactive exhibits the Museum of Arts and Sciences acquired recently from the former Fort Discovery National Science Center in Augusta. Recently purchased from the National Science Foundation, the Human Gyroscope is a fun and exhilarating immersive experience that gives riders a sense of weightlessness.

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Opened in conjunction with and in celebration of Georgia’s 2nd Annual “Careers in Energy Week” was an exploration that demonstrated how energy makes change possible.

SPARKS: Understanding Energy, an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, explored many forms of energy with special emphasis on the science of electricity. The exhibition included demonstrations of radiant, thermal, gravitational, mechanical, chemical and electrical energy for visitors of all ages.

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