Exploding Canons: The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Site of the 2010 Exploding Canons events

Exploding Canons: The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond

October 22, 2010

CHARLOTTE – Oct. 22, 2010 – The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI), in partnership with area cultural organizations and community foundation support, presented the second installment of its groundbreaking discussion series, Exploding Canons, with a multimedia presentation of “The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond,” Friday, Oct. 22. About 225 people attended this interdisciplinary event at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Faculty members from Winthrop University, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte, along with WDAV’s program director, participated in a stimulating panel discussion examining new ways of looking at outer space.

“We were pleased to present a full evening of planetary exploration,” said CTI Director Molly Shaw. “Stellar speakers from a variety of disciplines guided our audience through uncharted intellectual territory, and the evening culminated in a live performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets by the Charlotte Symphony.”

The evening’s full schedule of events began with a reception in the lobby of the Bechtler Museum, featuring a planetarium show hosted by Discovery Place. The interactive panel discussion followed, highlighting a variety of topics and expert leaders:

  • Spiritual Connections with the Heavens — Indigenous Star and Planetary Lore, Richard Chacon, associate professor of anthropology at Winthrop University
  • Vagabond Stars — The Planets of Early Greek Thought, Keyne Cheshire, associate professor of classics at Davidson College
  • From Mythology to Hollywood — The Inspiration and Impact of Holst’s “The Planets,” Frank Dominguez, program director, WDAV
  • Picturesque Planets — The Science Behind Planetary Images, Susan Trammell, associate professor of physics and optical science at UNC Charlotte.

The reception and panel discussion were free and open to the public, and CTI and the Charlotte Symphony provided 150 free tickets to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools teachers for the symphony’s Holst concert at the Knight Theater following the Exploding Canons discussion.

This encore Exploding Canons event was sponsored by the Arts & Science Council, the Imago Mundi Endowment Fund, and the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund at UNC Charlotte, and was made possible by community partnerships with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Charlotte Symphony, Discovery Place and WDAV.

Attendees enjoying the reception

The audience of the panel discussion

Richard Chacon’s presentation on Spiritual Connections with the Heavens

Keyne Cheshire’s presentation: Vagabond Stars — The Planets of Early Greek Thought

Frank Dominguez shares the life story of inspirational composer Gustov Holtz.

Susan Trammell provides fantastic imagery of the planets within the solar system.

The panel answers questions asked by the audience.