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While some posit that science and art are polar opposites – the former driven by logic and dominated by technical introverts, the other by emotion and expressive eccentrics − Gallery 1832 challenges these stereotypes, highlighting how artists’ and scientists’ similarities far outweigh their differences. Housed in a historic building, in the heart of the Kendall Square biotech innovation hub, LabCentral is a first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a “ground zero” for launch of high-potential life-sciences and biotech startups.

Built in 1832, this unassuming brick building has a long history of science and innovation. For example: the modern version of the workaday tool, the pipe (monkey) wrench, was conceived in the facility and patented in 1869; Thomas A. Watson received the first reciprocal call between two distant points from the what was then the Walworth Manufacturing Co. Machine Shop, from Alexander Graham Bell at the same company’s corporate offices in Boston; 700 Main Street was also home to the Edwin Land and Polaroid laboratories and the Davenport Car Works. We created and named Gallery 1832 as a tribute to this colorful history.

The facility boasts two gallery halls on-site (70 square-foot and 87 square-foot respectively) with a third small gallery space next door at LabCentral 610, all nestled within a labyrinth of whitewashed laboratory space. We host a carefully curated rotation of local artists every two months. We believe this constantly changing environment and exposure to new perspectives is beneficial to the mind. In this spirit, the gallery space is an important part of keeping life fresh for researchers and entrepreneurs. The goal is to offer provocative and beautiful work to provide residents and visitors new avenues to find inspiration in the space around them and perhaps help them expand out of their comfort zones to find new, creative approaches to problem solving.

Art & Science

It is not a surprise to most that observational skills, spatial thinking, elemental identification in systems, pattern identification and creation, and visual, verbal and mathematical communication are all integral for the work of successful artists and scientists. Both dedicated to asking, “What is true? Why does it matter? How can we move society forward?”

Taking this into consideration, Gallery 1832 provides residents and visitors with new avenues to find inspiration in the space around them. This is accomplished in two ways.  First, through the changing artwork which provides stimulus and inspires evaluative thinking and second, through opportunities to engage directly with artists who share a natural cognitive inclination.

Exposure to a variety of artists’ work challenges LabCentral scientists and entrepreneurs to digest varied perspectives and explore new problem solving approaches. In addition, an overall dynamic environment with continuously rotating exhibits keeps the imagination network and pattern reconciliation process constantly engaged and forces scientists not to fall too far into that neurological comfort zone that the mind so naturally enjoys.

Art serves as a great partner in the communication of scientific research as well as in the navigation of the scientific unknown.