Donna Sternberg, Meredith Tromble, Dawn Sumner


Donna Sternberg has professionally premiered over 90 works since 1975 throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico; several have been collaborations with artists of other disciplines including composers, visual artists, poets, actors and digital media as well as scientists. After dancing in the companies of Donald Byrd, Mary Jane Eisenberg, Yen Lu Wong and Dance/LA, she founded Donna Sternberg & Dancers, a contemporary dance company, in 1985. Her choreography has been critically acclaimed for its "exceptional ability to communicate through pure movement" (Los Angeles Times). She has choreographed eight full-evening works, most have been inspired by science. Ms. Sternberg has been commissioned to create works for the California Science Center, SIGGRAPH, Dance Moving Forward Festival, California Choreographer's Festival, Catlin Gabel School in Oregon, Valley College and the Alleluia Dance Theatre. She has received support for her work and dance company from the state and local government agencies, foundations and corporations. She has participated in adjudicated dance festivals throughout California and was featured in the documentary LA Woman that was released in 2012. Donna Sternberg & Dancers have been featured in print, on radio and on PBS station KCET's Life and Times program. She has been published in the journal Leonardo (MIT Press).

 In 2014 Ms. Sternberg was chosen to participate in the first artist/science residency at Djerassi, and awarded the Artist-in-Community award by the Santa Monica Arts Foundation. In 2013 she was awarded a choreographic fellowship from the Santa Monica Arts Commission. Ms. Sternberg was chosen for an artist residency program at the Julia and David White Artist Colony in Costa Rica in 2006. She was selected to head the dance program at the first Visual and Performing Arts Summer Institute conducted by the Santa Ana Unified School District in June 2002 and selected as Artist in Residence at UC Irvine in July 2001 as part of the California Dance & Movement Workshop for Dance Educators. She and her company have been guest artists at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico for twelve years. Ms. Sternberg was appointed to the Santa Monica Arts Commission in December 2001 where she served until 2011.

Visual artist Meredith Tromble has worked in "in-between" spaces throughout her career: mixing drawing, performance, and installation; writing about her own creative process and the work of others; and engaging crossover points between art and science. Her ongoing collaboration with Mars Curiosity scientist Dawn Sumner, the developing interactive 3-D art installation "Dream Vortex," (2011 - ongoing) has been presented nationally and internationally, as video exhibited at ISEA2015, Vancouver and Creativity & Cognition, Glasgow School of Art, 2015; through related physical installations at the Djerassi Program and Studio 110 Projects; and more than a dozen public lectures including talks at Brown University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of New Mexico, and University of Texas, Dallas. Tromble and Sumner received one of the first art/science residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist program in 2014. Tromble's essay blog "Art and Shadows," on contemporary art in light of science, was funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for 2012. From 2000-2010 she was a core member of the artist group Stretcher, which made installations and performative art events and published one of the first online art magazines in California. Stretcher's work was seen as a new model of artist community engagement and exhibited in Bay Area Now 4 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Southern Exposure Gallery. During this period she also made flash "guerrilla" performances, including an invited appearance at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C, using a mechanism from the research of biologist Larry Rome to generate electricity from her motion. Her earlier work, including immersive maze installations at the Mills Museum and Rosicrucian Museum in the early 1990s, was recognized when she was one of fifty artists included in the book Epicenter: San Francisco Bay Area Art Now, Chronicle Books, 2003. Tromble is currently collecting her essays on contemporary art in light of contemporary science for the e-book "Art & Shadows: Investigating Attention in Contemporary Art." Since 2005, she has been an Associate Professor in Liberal Arts/Art & Technology at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Dawn Sumner is a co-founder of KeckCAVES, a 3-D visualization facility that provides an intellectual and computational framework for the visual exploration, manipulation, and creation of data and models. KeckCAVES develops and uses visualization tools to gain insights into problems that are difficult to address using other techniques. Sumner has active collaborations with Meredith Tromble and Jim Crutchfield that merge artistic and scientific visions to provide insights that benefit both the aesthetic and technical understanding of the natural world. Sumner also dances and plays capoeira as a means of pushing herself creatively and physically; in 2009 she worked with Sideshow Physical Theater to create an interactive environment for the performance COLLAPSE (suddenly falling down). As a geobiologist, she is interested in how early life evolved on Earth and whether or not Mars may have once hosted microbial life. She is a team member for Curiosity rover mission on Mars and also researches bacterial communities in Antarctic lakes. Sumner earned her B.S with honors at Caltech and her Ph.D. at MIT. She is based in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis, where she has been a professor since 1997 and currently is the Department Chair.