24 May
Fri / 2019

Inside the MFAH
Music on the Plaza: Artist Emily Fens and “Brainbloom”

On selected summer evenings, Music on the Plaza highlights Houston-based artists and musicians, including artist Emily Fens, who creates a live arts environment that includes a performance by indie pop band the Wild Moccasins.

Fens, who received her formal training at the Glassell School of Art and has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from UCLA, investigates themes of contemporary neuroscience in her work.

In anticipation of Music on the Plaza on August 9, we asked Fens a few questions about Brainbloom, the installation she conceived for the event.

Have you always wanted to see your science and arts backgrounds work together?

Yes! That was my objective when I chose to study neuroscience. Prior to entering the neuroscience world, my fascination with brains was taking over my artwork. Studying neuroscience was a necessity so my art could grow in the ways it needed to.

How does your background in neuroscience impact your creative process?

This is something that is always revealing itself to me. Contemporary science organizes information in a hierarchical way by scale, with the microscopic building to create the macroscopic whole. 

Studying neuroscience trains you to simultaneously see the smallest of particles alongside the vastest of systems to best understand the brain. In my work, I love to consider various scales simultaneously, such as magnifying microbic details to the size of cosmic patterns.

What can people expect to see from you at Music on the Plaza?

My creation—Brainbloom—is an immersive ecosystem that emerges from my artwork installed and projected on the plaza that evening. The sounds of the Wild Moccasins, and, most of all the community, will become the art in multiple ways. Come ready for your skin to be a canvas, and look forward to creating wearable Brainblooms of your own. Wear white, and between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. become a canvas for the projections of my artwork!

 Plan your visit! Music on the Plaza takes place Friday, August 9, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


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