On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins landed on the Moon during the United States Apollo XI mission. This year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo XI.
After a decade of collecting photos, Ryan Adams has organized the Shift+Gallery’s first-ever exhibit, “Edge of Space: Apollo XI, Orbiter, and Viking I”. The exhibit, which is located inside Edge Alley restaurant, will showcase photographs taken during the Apollo XI, Orbiter, and Viking I missions. “Edge of Space: Apollo XI, Orbiter, and Viking I” opens Tuesday, June 25th with an open reception from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The exhibit ends on August 30th.
Ryan Adams and the owner/chef of Edge Alley Tim Barker join Kacky Walton for Checking on the Arts, to discuss Shift+Gallery and the upcoming “Edge of Space” exhibit.
Kacky Walton: Two years ago, Tim Barker, you opened a restaurant with your wife. Was it always the plan to install an art gallery?
Tim Barker: Installing a gallery was not always part of the plan but showcasing art has always been my passion.
Walton: How do you relate art and food together?
Barker: Food can be an art form. An underestimated part of dining is visual – the actual environment and the ambiance plays into that.
Walton: And, you are focused on showcasing local artist too.
Barker: Not just showcasing. Lexi Perkins actually creates art in her space. She has one of our spaces, she uses it as a studio, and she sells her work from Edge Alley.
Walton: How did you get ahold of these photographs for the exhibit?
Ryan Adams: It has taken me almost a decade to collect all of these photographs. Most of these photographs come from former employees for NASA.
Walton: How many photos are included in this exhibit?
Adams: There are twenty-four included but that is not the entire collection. These are just the selected, curated images for this show.
Walton: How many do you have altogether?
Adams: Over 150.
Walton: Was it a hard paring it down to just over two dozen?
Adams: It is difficult. There is obviously an artistic quality that I want to bring to the show but I also want to fully represent what the missions were about and what was achieved. It’s about selecting images that I think complement one another well and tell the full story of not only Apollo XI but with the Orbiter missions, where they were mapping the moon’s surface to determine where to land for the Apollo mission.
The satellites [in the Orbiter mission] would orbit the moon and take photos, develop the film on board the satellites, scan the film and then transmit that back to Earth. They would print these long strips out and then they would take each strip image and collage those together to make larger images.
Each Obiter image that is up on the wall really consists of 25-30 mosaic images.
Walton: Because of the Apollo mission, people were able to see what Earth looked like from space. What is the importance of these pictures?
Adams: It gave a different perspective of our solar system and where we are within that context – to see the Earth from the moon’s perspective.
There is an image in the show that is from the Orbiter 1. It is the first photograph of Earth from the moon’s perspective. No one had ever seen an image like that. I think that has a profound impact on the psyche of everyone on the planet – just understanding your context and place in the universe and stars.
Walton: What should people make sure to see in the “Edge of Space: Apollo XI, Orbiter, and Viking I” exhibit?
Adams: The Obiters are my favorites. You will never see another photo that looks like that ever because of how they were taken. The lengths that individuals went to in order to create the camera systems to go into satellites and visually just the way they look. They are mosaic images that create a larger image. They are stunning. You can walk up and stare into the surface of the moon.
Walton: What about the photographs from Viking?
Adams: There is one color photograph in the entire exhibit and that is of Mars. That is the first color photo of another planet from its surface. July 20, 1976 (the same day that they landed on the Moon but a different year) was the first time that they put a lander on the Martian surface. This is the first photo that was sent back. Every other photo before then has been taken on Earth or from around Earth’s perspective, the Moon for example.
I have it in the show because I want there to be a new generation that is as excited about space exploration as people were in the sixties, during the Space Race.
Walton: After the “Edge of Space” exhibit, what is next for Shift+Gallery?
Adams: The next exhibit will somewhat be related to the Apolo missions. It is going to be U.S Atomic test photography. They will be photographs from the Americans when they were testing on all different forms of Atomic photography, from the first all the way to hydrogen.
Celebrate the first Shift+Gallery exhibit “Edge of Space: Apollo XI, Orbiter, and Viking I” at Edge Alley (600 Monroe Ave.)
The opening reception is Tuesday, June 25th from 4:00 – 7:00 PM.
To know more about Edge Alley visit Edge-Alley.com or call (901) 425- 2605.
For more information about Shift+Gallery visit Shift-Gallery.com.