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Artist finds tie between art, science

Submitted PhotoWhat Do You Dream, abstract art by Michael Raaum shows through Nov. 28 at the Colorado Mountain College gallery.
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For abstract painter Michael Raaum, the worlds of visual art and science collided one evening while watching TV.”A show on String Theory came on the television, explaining that there might be 17 dimensions, or maybe more to the four we recognize,” said Raaum, Colorado Mountain College’s featured artist through Nov. 28. “It suggests they are constantly around us at all times and startling things can happen with these dimensions.”For years, Raaum wasn’t aware of a connection between his detailed art and science. His mixed-media paintings with energetic compositions of colorful forms and strong linear elements in a floating atmosphere had simply given his life expression.That’s when a Nova television special on PBS gave his art a name.”The physicists were exploring dimensionality. It wasn’t dimensions like up or down. I was literally painting while watching, and I was painting the dimensions they were talking about,” he said. “It was an ‘aha’ moment, an ultimate collage. People could walk into a wall a million times and the million-and-oneth time they could actually pass through it. It may explain miracles.”The string lines and elastic forms Raaum portrays in his art were lines that don’t exist in the normal lines of space, he said. Hence, he named his show “String Dimensions” because many lines Raaum paints are based on human figures and motion found in nature.To introduce “String Dimensions” to the public, the CMC gallery hosts an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. today. The show features 23 of Raaum’s works, all done within the past 12 months.Raaum, whose studio is located in Basalt, has taught painting and drawing at CMC’s Aspen campus for more than 20 years. In addition to CMC’s exhibit, galleries in Aspen, Denver and Minnesota also feature his art. His work will be featured on the brochures for the CMC Jim Calaway Honors Series performances Dec. 9, Jan. 26 and March 10.The CMC gallery is located at Ninth Street and Grand Avenue, and hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, contact Alice Beauchamp, CMC Center for Excellence in the Arts director, at 947-8367.


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