Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park to unveil exhibit honoring scientific achievements of Nicolaus Copernicus, host concert
by BRIAN NADIG
The Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park will be kicking off its “Copernican Year” celebration this weekend with an exhibit and concert honoring the center’s namesake, astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus.
2023 marks what would have been the 550th birthday of Copernicus, and the Republic of Poland has declared it the “Year of Nicholas Copernicus.” In addition, the World Copernicus Congress is hosting several scientific events in 2023.
Copernicus formulated a ground-breaking model that had the sun rather than the earth at the center of the universe, a theory that later influenced several important discoveries about the solar system. He also was a church canon.
The Copernicus Center, located at 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., will unveil at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19, a 21-panel exhibit about the life and works of Copernicus.
The exhibitor’s curator is Dr. Hanna Krajewska, who is the director of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Archive of Science, which is partnering with the Copernicus Center on the March 19 festivities.
Plans call for the exhibit to be on display for the duration of the year, possibly on the grounds of the center along its fence, said Kamila Sumelka, the center’s executive director. The panels have been designed to withstand rain and other weather elements, she said.
The panels include details about Copernicus’ family life and his achievements along with copies of documents and paintings related to Copernicus, whose name the exhibit states underwent several spellings during his life.
At 6 p.m. Sunday the Chopin University Chamber Orchestra from Warsaw, Poland, along with several soloists will be performing on the center’s main stage, directed by Klaudiusz Baran.
The concert will feature “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres,” a composition written for the event by composer Mikolaj Majkusiak from Poland.
Tickets for the concert range from $35 to $65 and are available at www.copernicuscenter.org
A state proclamation sponsored by state Senator Robert Martwick (D-10) and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker praises the center’s efforts to honor the scientific contributions made by Copernicus, calling the Copernicus Foundation “a beacon of hope for the Polish-American community.”
About 40 years ago the foundation, which was founded in the 1970s, purchased the former Gateway Theater, which is now part of the center’s cultural and entertainment complex.