Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans

D E N N I S  E V A N S

Born in Yakima, Washington in 1946, Dennis studied Chemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle. He then studied and earned a BFA in Ceramics and an MFA in Design from the University of Washington. His artwork is included in many major museums and public corporation collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Evans was also selected for the 1978 Whitney Biennial exhibition in New York. He has worked as a teacher and mentor to many young artists and as a set designer for numerous Seattle theater productions. Evans is also a book and print publisher, publishing five limited edition suites of prints in collaboration with poets and other artists. He has worked as a performance and installation artist as well as a painter. He lives in Seattle, Washington, working in oil on wax encaustic with mixed media. He specializes in topics of arcane interest.

N A N C Y  M E E

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Nancy attended the University of Washington where she earned a BFA in Printmaking in 1974. Mee spent the year of 1972 at Atelier 17, the studio of S.W. Hayter, where she studied his technique of multicolored etching. In her last year at the University of Washington, she met Dennis Evans whom she married in 1980. Her artist in residency at the Pilchuck School in 1984 had a profound impact on her work. It is there where she experimented with fusing and slumping glass, which opened up tremendous possibilities for new forms and a larger scale. The only vestiges of her printmaking background that can be found in Mee's work are her innovative use of photographic images. In 1994, Mee was invited as one of seven international artists to the Center for Contemporary Art in Beychevelle, Bordeaux, France, where she was asked to create a body of work using Justice as a theme. This work was then fabricated at her studio in Seattle and shown at Chateau Beychevelle the following year. Mee's sculptures incorporate a variety of materials, including glass, welded and forged steel, bronze, stone and photography. She is shown commercially in several galleries in the United States and is also represented in many public and private collections, nationally and internationally.



Artists Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans with (partial) Team Friesen at the opening of Works from Cassini's Library and Contemplorium on Friday, 7 July 2017.

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) was an Italian astronomer, engineer and mathematician who was a progenitor of modern scientific thought and laid the groundwork for how we view the universe — and our relationship to it — today.

From 1648 to 1669, Cassini worked at the Panzano Observatory; in 1650 he was appointed Professor of Astronomy at the University of Bologna. In 1669 King Louis XIV of France (the famous 'Roi Soleil' or 'Sun King') commissioned Cassini to build the Paris Observatory, where he served as Director from the day it opened in 1671 until his death in 1712 at the age of 87.

Although he held various cosmological views of the universe, Cassini initially held the Earth to be the center of the Solar System, though later observations compelled him to accept the model of the universe proposed by Tycho Brahe and, eventually, that of Nicolaus Copernicus. Later in his career, Cassini uncovered the mystery behind the phenomenon of Zodiacal Light, a faint, diffuse and roughly triangular white glow visible in the night sky that appears to extend from the vicinity of the Sun along the ecliptic plane of the sky, caused by dusty objects in interplanetary space.

And yet, the realm of science had, for Cassini, its limits. Arithmetic, rhetoric, geometry, cartography. It was all fascinating and profoundly useful — to a point. But none could calculate the weight of the soul or interpret dreams or account for human consciousness. And Cassini, a closeted astrologer and mystic, yearned for those answers as well.

I M A G I N E . . . 

After hours in his observatory, Cassini would secretly retire to a small room directly off of the planetarium. He referred to this room as his 'Contemplorium.' Cassini's Contemplorium was at once a library, a laboratory, a place of refuge and a congeries, where beautiful objects and instruments were purposefully constructed for the comprehension of the most arcane aspects of the universe . . .