Local artist Rachel Rein is exhibiting her 16-foot light sculpture Chromosomatic at the Madelyn Helling Library this April! The sculpture will be on view during the library’s normal operating hours, Monday through Saturday. Join the artist and library staff for the installation’s opening this Saturday, April 1st from 4 – 5 pm, free and open to the public.

Chromosomatic Art Installation at Madelyn Helling Library

Chromosomatic is a 2023 sculpture consisting of 23 translucent lanterns representing the 23 pairs of chromosomes comprising human DNA. Each lantern houses LED lights programmed to illuminate connections with thousands of DNA matches worldwide.

Rein has been DNA testing her relatives since 2003 and has contacted over 6,000 DNA matches. Each time Chromosomatic pulses on, it shows a representation of the DNA shared between the artist’s mother and someone in the world who was curious enough to take a DNA test and consented to matching with other people.

Rein describes the piece as “a conversation, a way of talking about my DNA research in the language of art.” The work consists of 23 acrylic lanterns, 23 Wi-Fi controllers, 92 individually addressable LED strips, and a custom computer software program written in the Python language. Chromosomatic is controlled with a Raspberry Pi computer and displays data from the artist’s mother’s DNA test.

The artist will be hosting a question & answer session at the Madelyn Helling Library on Monday, April 10th at 12 o’clock pm. Visit the library on your lunch hour to learn more about this unique installation!

Curious about genealogy, DNA testing or learning more about your family history? Stick around for “Ask a Genealogist” with the Nevada County Genealogical Society at 1 pm. 30-minute time slots are available for guided, individual learning. Call 530-865-7050 to register.

Chromosomatic by artist Rachel Rein will be on view April 1st through April 29th during the library’s normal operating hours.

For hours, directions and full event calendar, please visit nevadacountyca.gov/library or call 530-265-7050.

For all other information, please visit https://chromosomatic.com