‘Letters from the Sky’ melds snow science with art

Snowflake by Sarah DeGennaro from the “Letters from the Sky” art installation to be premiered on Thursday, Dec. 31, at the UA Museum of the North. (Photo via UA Museum of the North)
Snowflake by Sarah DeGennaro from the “Letters from the Sky” art installation to be premiered on Thursday, Dec. 31, at the UA Museum of the North. (Photo via UA Museum of the North)

Art and science combine in a new exhibit at the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks.

The “Letters From the Sky” installation opening Thursday shows how snowflakes form.

It’s the teamwork of Fairbanks artist Sarah DeGennaro and geophysicist Simon Filhol.

“He does snow science, and so I just wanted to do an art project that would sort of incorporate snow science and make it something that was publicly accessible,” she said. “Something that’s not so hard to understand.”

DeGennaro’s drawing and Fihol’s science result in an animated rendition of snow crystal formation.

“It shows the progression of the snowflakes starting at the center and growing outward until it’s a complete snow crystal.”

DeGennaro says Fihol wrote a program to animate her drawing as part of the grant funded project.

The final product is video that will be projected on the side of the museum as part New Year’s Eve festivities on campus.