Artist Babak Tafreshi Discusses The World At Night

Bates College Olin Arts Center, Olin 104
75 Russell Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
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Babak Tafreshi

Award-winning artist and science journalist Babak Tafreshi discusses the importance of the night sky in an artist’s talk 6 p.m. on Monday, October 22 in Olin Arts Center room 104, sponsored by the Bates College Museum of Art in association with its exhibition Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography.  A reception in the Museum follows.  Weather permitting, a star party guided by local amateur astronomy clubs will be held after the reception, offering visitors a firsthand view of celestial wonders.  The public is welcome to all three events, free of charge.

Tafreshi is the founder of The Word At Night (, a non-profit organization promoting world peace and environmental stewardship through an exhibition of photographs of the night sky over prominent earthbound landmarks.  “The eternally peaceful night sky looks the same above symbols of all nations and regions, attesting to the truly unified nature of Earth as a planet rather than an amalgam of human-designated territories,” remarks the artist.  He is one of thirty-seven artists from around the world featured in Starstruck.

Tafreshi’s work has garnered him science’s most prestigious imaging honor, the Lennart Nilsson Award, in 2009, for his global contribution to night sky photography.  In the same year, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) have designated TWAN as a Special Project of the International Year of Astronomy.  As a science journalist he has contributed to many television and radio programs on astronomy and has interviewed world-renowned astronomers and space scientists. He was editor of the Iranian astronomy magazine (Nojum) and is a contributing editor of Sky & Telescope Magazine.   For a decade and has been a board member of the Astronomical Society of Iran’s outreach committee were he directed many national astronomy events.

“Babak Tafreshi is an ideal person to draw together the threads of all the disciplines across the liberal arts,” says Anthony Shostak, the museum’s Curator of Education and the organizer of Starstruck. “His long experience with journalism and his passion for photography make him a powerful communicator.  His photographs in Starstruck are among the most popular with visitors, perhaps because they ground the beauty of the stars with a human environment.”

During his visit to the United States, Tafreshi will lead an astrophotography workshop in Maine’s near Maine’s Moosehead Lake, sponsored by the Museum of Art.  Details can be found at

Starstruck is perfectly suited for teachers in all levels of education to engage with art related to a variety of subjects including astronomy and physical science, history, geography, literature, religion, and math.  Group tours are welcome by appointment: (207) 786-8302.

The Bates College Museum of Art is open free to the public Mondays through Saturdays 10-5, and Wednesday evenings September through May until 9 p.m.  For directions and more information about events, please visit