Print Produced with Student Help Is on Display in L.A.

33 Kelvin print
Pedro Barbeito's 33 Kelvin was produced with the help of AAP students. photo / provided
33 Kelvin in box
33 Kelvin in its box packaging. photo / provided
33 Kelvin colophon
The project's colophon inside the box cover. photo / provided
Pedro Barbeito's 33 Kelvin was produced with the help of AAP students. photo / provided 33 Kelvin in its box packaging. photo / provided The project's colophon inside the box cover. photo / provided
November 27, 2013

An unusual print project created in a collaboration between six AAP students and a Brooklyn artist will be exhibited in a gallery in Los Angeles beginning December 14.

The project is the first joint initiative of its kind involving AAP students and a professional artist at Cornell. The artist, Pedro Barbeito, taught at Cornell last spring as a visiting critic in art and will display the print as part of a solo show at the 101 Exhibit gallery in Los Angeles.

What is also unique about the collaboration is the print itself. Titled 33 Kelvin — reflecting the temperature the newly constructed James Webb Space Telescope will operate in — the print incorporates three-dimensional objects and arrives in a cardboard box with a laser etching on its cover.

"We didn't go into this with any rules," Barbeito says. "I just wanted them to push the limits and understanding of the boundaries of these media."

In his artwork, Barbeito incorporates images from science and technology into his prints and paintings. One facet of science he has focused on is the latest generation of space telescopes and how they are attempting to look back in time to the origin of the cosmos.

"It's just another way in which science is trying to figure out why we're here and what is the meaning of all this," says Barbeito, who has had 13 solo exhibits in Europe and the U.S.

33 Kelvin depicts two images of the universe: a 12th century Persian map and a drawing from a photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The 3D white, plastic object is a model of the James Webb telescope, the successor to the Hubble that will launch in 2018.

Associate Professor of art Elisabeth Meyer proposed bringing Barbeito to campus and having him collaborate with the students on a printmaking project. She says creating a print with Barbeito as an independent study project gave them a realistic view of what it takes to create art in professionally.

"This is a real transition in professional practice," says Meyer, who also helped produce the print. "It's one thing when they're in school and doing their work, but when it's something going out to market and going to be displayed, that's a different story. "

Calvin Kim, a two-degree B.F.A. and psychology major, worked on designing the box that contains the print and its various components that the recipient puts together. "I had never thought about a box which holds a print," Kim said. "We had to work out things like the height of the box and how the structure needed to be stronger."

In addition to Kim, the student team included Uroosa Ijaz (B.F.A. '15), Olivia Lerner '13, Aaron Sage '13, Danni Shen (B.F.A. '15), and Jin Yoo (B.F.A. '16).

While in Ithaca, Barbeito also used the Creative Machines Lab, the facility that conducts 3D printing under the direction of Associate Professor Hod Lipson from the College of Engineering. The work of creating 15 copies of the print, including one that will be donated to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, took place in the graduate student and faculty studio in the basement of Tjaden Hall.

"Everything just kind of lined up and we were able to put the project together in one semester," Barbeito says. "It would have been a different project without the students and the resources at Cornell."

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