Story last updated at 1/14/2009 - 11:04 am
JUNEAU - You may never look at ice the same way, once you experience the photographs of Dr. Peter Wasilewski, an artist and astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Dr. Wasilewski coined the term "Frizion" to describe his striking, often hauntingly beautiful photographs of ice crystals made with polarized light. An exhibition of his "frozen vision" will be on exhibit at the Alaska State Museum through Feb. 21.
Wasilewski uses "only ice, the laws of physics, and attitude" to create his colorful images. Each piece begins as a vessel of water, which is then frozen, manipulated, and viewed through polarized light. Although grounded in science, the endeavor is purely artistic.
"I choose photographs that evoke an image or theme, and I'm very interested in how others react to those images. Like all abstract art, there can be various interpretations," said Wasilewski.
Wasilewski is a NASA scientist and Doctorate of Sciences recipient from the University of Tokyo who has researched the magnetic properties of meteorites, Moon rocks and Earth rocks. Upon graduating from George Washington University, he turned down a tryout for the Baltimore Colts professional football team to participate in an expedition to the world's largest piece of ice - Antarctica. Wasilewski fell in love with the frozen continent and has since gone back on 6 different expeditions over 25 years. An ancient volcano on Antarctica now bears his name.
More information is available on the Frizion Web site at www.frizion.com.
Winter hours at the museum are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tues. through Sat. Admission is $3. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. An annual pass is available for $15. Assistance is available for visitors with special needs. Please contact Visitor Services at 465-2901 before the visit.