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apexart :: Public Program :: In Conversation: Janna Kaplan and Heidi Neilson
Public Program
Preparing for Outer Space: Astronaut Training and Menus for Mars
Janna Kaplan and Heidi Neilson in conversation

In conjunction with the exhibition
Setting Out
organized by Shona Kitchen, Aly Ogasian, and Jennifer Dalton Vincent

Friday, February 26: 7 pm 
Janna Kaplan and Heidi Neilson will each present on topics relating to human survival in outer space. Kaplan will draw from her experience as a Space Research Specialist to discuss the tasks and challenges of preparing astronauts for spaceflight, while Neilson will present her Menu for Mars Supper Club project, which envisions the future of cuisine on Mars.

Setting Out explores how the nature of expeditions has evolved into the modern day. Incorporating the work of archaeologists, engineers, scientists, and artists exploring a variety of realms both geographical and beyond, the exhibition demonstrates that all these expeditions share the same eager hunger to uncover the unknown.

Janna Kaplan, M.S., is Lecturer in Psychology and Senior Research Associate at Brandeis University’s Graybiel Lab, specializing in Neuropsychology and Space Research. At Brandeis since 1983, she studies human adaptation to various conditions of space flight, such as zero-G, high-G, artificial gravity environments, spatial orientation, and space motion sickness. Within the Graybiel Lab, Kaplan has developed a program initiating commercial and private payload and research of astronaut training, of which she is now Program Lead and Senior Scientist. The training protocol focuses on sensorimotor human factors of flight, such as space motion sickness, spatial disorientation, spatial illusions, and movement errors in changing gravitoinertial force environments. Kaplan serves on Faculty Advisory Councils of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, and of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute for the Study of Jewish Women. She frequently lectures on the science of space exploration. Of special interest to her is the role of STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, math) in the empowerment and intellectual development of adolescent girls.

Heidi Neilson is an artist addressing topics such as weather, fake snow, and the cultural landscape of outer space. Her work is often collaborative and publishing-based. She is a member of the ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative, co-founded SP Weather Station, and her work is included in over 60 museum and university collections. Born in Oregon, Heidi received a BA in biology from Reed College and an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute, and lives and works in New York.

Please join us for this free and open to the public apexart event.

apexart's exhibitions and and public programs are supported in part by the Affirmation Arts Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Edith C. Blum Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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