‘Beneath the Surface’ to feature photography exhibit, auction and lecture on importance of night skies

Image courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University is highlighting the expertise and work of Alex Chamberlain, an assistant professor of art at the university, in “Beneath the Surface,” an event featuring a lecture on nighttime photography as well as an art exhibit and auction of Chamberlain’s work.

Sponsored by Dixie State’s Community Education program in partnership with Sarah Young’s “Come for the Sun, Stay for the Stars” and held in conjunction with the inaugural “Southwest Astronomy Festival,” Beneath the Surface is set to take place Friday at 6 p.m. in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center on the Dixie State campus. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

In his presentation, Chamberlain will address the importance of protecting and documenting the night skies, as 80 percent of the children born now in the United States will never experience enough darkness to see the Milky Way, according to a press release for the event.

“Sanctuaries of darkness like Arches National Park become so much more than just a novelty when we realize that the next generation may never be able to see truth of our galaxy staring boldly back at them or ponder the questions that it would raise in their souls,” Chamberlain said in the press release.

“Utah’s parks have the darkest night skies in the United States, but even they are beginning to show the encroachment of urban light domes on their horizons. My sense of gratitude for these protected places is tempered with a sense of alarm at the rapid invasion of irresponsible lighting schemes.”

Chamberlain said that gazing upon the same night skies early civilizations saw not only reminds him of his place in the grand scheme of life but also has health benefits.

“It has been proven that people, animals and even nature itself all have a need for true darkness,” he said. “Our circadian rhythms are timed to it, our mental health leans on it, and I think the truth of it serves to remind us that we are only transitory stewards of our family legacies, our planet, and even the matter that makes up our bodies. The night sky is important. To me. To everyone.”

Beneath the Surface will feature the largest collection and sale of Chamberlain’s artwork in one place. Additionally, a never-before-seen photography print will be unveiled as part of the auction. Other items to be auctioned off include three private guided excursions with Chamberlain to exclusive locations ideal for photography.

Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase three different 8-by-12-inch signed prints of Chamberlain’s work for $10 each. The auction will benefit efforts that raise awareness to the importance of protecting the dark night skies.

Beneath the Surface also will feature a special appearance by local musician Nic Chamberlain, who will perform a new original song he wrote about Southern Utah.

Event details

  • What: “Beneath the Surface” photography lecture and art exhibit featuring Alex Chamberlain.
  • When: Friday, Sept. 22, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Eccles Fine Arts Center, Dixie State University campus, 225 S. 700 East, St George.
  • Details: Tickets are $8 in advance and are available online, over the phone at 435-652-7675 or in person at the DSU box office in the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center on the Dixie State University campus. Tickets also are available the day of the event at the door for $10 each.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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