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At a glance you may think science and art seem like polar opposites, one driven by logic, the other by emotion. One dominated by technical introverts, the other by 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. It was the home of the Edwin Land and Polaroid laboratories, the first long distance call was received within the premises by Alexander Graham Bell, and the workaday tool, the Wrench, was conceived and patented here. Gallery 1832 was created as a tribute to this colorful history.

The facility boasts a 70 square-foot gallery hall nestled within a labyrinth of whitewashed laboratory space, hosting a carefully curated rotation of local artists every two months. This constantly changing environment and exposure to new perspectives is believed to benefit the mind, leading to breakthroughs in creative problem solving. In this spirit, LabCentral considers the gallery space an important part of keeping life fresh for researchers and entrepreneurs. The goal is to offer provocative work that keeps minds actively processing information that they would otherwise not be exposed to. 

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.