Rhody Gem: Hotpoint Emporium Planetarium

December 2019

Posted

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A miniature “planetarium” created by local artist Jen Charleson. Find whimsical geometric shapes printed on aluminum plates that shimmer in the strategically lit space, resembling constellations, orbits, and exploding stars. The NASA audio recordings taken in outer space complete the multisensory experience.

Tucked in the basement of Hotpoint Emporium – just off bustling but beautiful Hope Street – draw back a dark curtain in the corner to reveal a nook with an entire galaxy awaiting.

A planetarium is the last thing you’d expect to find in the lower level gallery of an art co-op. Creator Jen was inspired by NASA’s media library and her own love for astrophotography and wanted to create “imagined spacescapes where art and astrophysics coexist in perfect fusion.” When Hotpoint members direct visitors to their Underground Gallery, they always add – with a knowing smile – to check out “the world’s smallest planetarium.” Says Jen, “I like to believe that when people come inside, they forget where they are for a moment or two. Mostly, my hope is that people come away realizing that the stars are closer than we think.”

Hotpoint Emporium

39 State Street, Bristol

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