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Soaring cosmic circles in new museum show

To say Boca artist and professor Carol Prusa has a national following would be an understatement. Her work has been shown in museums from New York to Miami.

And more than 400 people turned out at Boca Raton Museum of Art’s opening for her solo exhibit, on view through Jan. 19. The crowd included her FAU students.

“Dark Light” presents Prusa’s famous orbs, LED lighted dome sculptures and silverpoint drawings done specifically for this show, she said. They’re so precise, one piece took nearly a year to complete.  

Her art is presented as an ode to the mysteries of the cosmos and 50th moonwalk anniversary. But they’re really Prusa’s take on two awe-inspiring eclipse trips and an homage to unsung women astronomers.

“They depict my memories of the [solar] eclipse from the banks of the North Platte River,” she said.

She knew hordes of people wouldn’t go to that spot on the trajectory. So she flew to Omaha with a professor of sculpture for 24 hours.  She even traveled to Chile last month to come to terms with “why this eclipse gripped me,” she said. “Did I really feel what I thought? I felt it was a poetic closure. I came full circle.”

Each meticulously painted circle on Plexiglass and acrylic shows stages an eclipse goes through. “They’re a portal to the unknown,” she said.

Her borders honor women “all trying to map our universe,” she said.

To hear more details, she’ll talk about the research that went into these works at 6 p.m. Sept. 5 at the museum on the north end of Mizner Park. She’s a regular lecturer at Carnegie-Mellon University and Parsons School of Art and Design among others.

This isn’t her first solo show or recognition, either. Her art was shown alongside works by Louise Nevelson, Nick Cave, Julian Opie, and George Segal. 

She was nominated for a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant.”

Being recognized in her own town and by her own museum is “deeply meaningful to me,” she said. “That my community would appreciate me in this way.”

“When we get too distracted by the details in our daily lives, that is when we particularly need artists like Carol Prusa to expand our horizons into the solar system, into the deeper unknown of dark space,” concluded museum executive director Irvin Lippman.

By Marci Shatzman

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