‘Carry the Light’, Public Art

‘Carry the Light’, Public Art

Los Alamos Monitor Online

By Tris DeRoma;  Friday, August 4, 2017

‘Carry the Light’ opens at golf course

Color and light have always been the tools of the artist, and at least with some sciences, the scientist also. Artist Doug Czor’s Plexiglas and dichroic film sculpture is now on display at the Los Alamos Golf Course.

Artist Doug Czor’s goal in life is to create inspiration for young people to look again at becoming a scientist, a physicist, an engineer or a mathematician.

New Mexico sculptor and former geological scientist Doug Czor has taken those tools in a new direction. Using Plexiglas and dichroic film, Czor has created a set of sculptures at the Golf Course Community Building on Diamond Drive that will catch the eye and stimulate the brain. When the sunlight hits the dichroic Plexiglas panels, they reflect a dazzling display of light and color that splash over the walls and ceiling where they are installed. The sculpture is called “Carry the Light.”

Czor wants everyone else to appreciate it too, and perhaps be inspired by the science and math behind what he does.  “Physics can be beautiful, science can be beautiful, exciting,” he said.

He hopes children that see the new sculptures see science and math in a different way too, or at least be interested enough to participate in a future where science is valued.

“My goal in life is to create an inspiration for young people that would inspire them to look again at becoming a scientist, a physicist, an engineer or a mathematician,” he said. “Our country needs more people who are interested in science…

Everything that is going on out there is so big. There is room for everybody.”

Czor, who sold his first sculpture when he was 16, had a fascination with art throughout his career as a geological scientist.  In his last job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he started his artistic career in earnest.  “My world was microscopic. Every day, I’d go to work at MIT’s Earth & Planetary Science Department, and I’d be looking at beautiful, colorful computer graphic, artistic landscapes of microscopic surfaces of rock samples through the scanning electron microscope,” Czor said.

When, in the late 1970s, some graduate students on his floor started lining their classrooms with giant, new printouts of the Mars landscape from the NASA Viking Orbiter and Lander missions, Czor had what he could only describe as an epiphany.

“I saw a beautiful creativity, the possibility of combining the art I visualized with the science and technology of MIT” he said. “I couldn’t shake it. I started mixing the two together in cast bronze and aluminum sculptures…I haven’t been able to stop mixing the two since. Today, I keep finding examples of how this mix of art and science or art and physics could inspire young people.”

“Carry the Light” is Czor’s first serious venture into the medium of dichroic film and Plexiglas.

“It came from the wonderful conversations I had with the engineers from the labs who were on the Los Alamos County Art Board. You know how when you get together with somebody and you’re talking about something enjoyable? New ideas come up,” Czor said of the project.

The panels were created by adhering dichroic film to cast Plexiglas. Dichroic films use the principle of “thin film interference” and create colors the same way as oil films on water or soap bubbles. Because of the dichroic film, the effect of light hitting the panels changes the color, as the viewing angle changes.

“I hung the panel clusters so they would interact with sunlight during the day and with spotlights at night. When a beam of sunlight hits them the color flashes are really intense,” he said.

Visitors can see “Carry the Light” at the Golf Course, Los Alamos County Community Building on Diamond Drive open to the public during day and evening hours.  The panel clusters run through the hallways and into the restaurant.