Leonardo: In Flight

Eli Whitney Museum

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The 27th Annual Leonardo Challenge

Leonardo: In Flight

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Thursday, May 18th 2023 | 5:30-9pm | 915 Whitney Avenue
Tickets available online and at the door.

It will make the first flight,
being launched from the peak of Mount Cecero,
this great bird,
filling the universe with awe,
filling all writings with its fame,
and eternal glory to the nest where it was born.

-Leonardo da Vinci, Codex on the Flight of Birds

The Benefit

Leonardo Da Vinci — artist, inventor, and scientist — drew interest from one subject and applied his discoveries to the next. His intense curiosity in all things profoundly impacted visual arts, scientific theories, and modern logic. The Leonardo Challenge embraces his nature of improvisational creativity. Like Leonardo, local artists will transform a common subject — this year, flight — into uncommon creations.

On May 18th, we invite you to our site, once again. A vibrant art auction will be held indoors, and a delicious spread of treats — from Black Hog Brewery, the Wine Thief, Bloom, Koffee, Whole G Breads, the Big Green Pizza Truck, and Small Kitchen Big Taste — served outdoors, along with live music from Johnathan Moore. Funds raised by donors and artists will support the museum's efforts in teaching Leonardo's idea of improvisational creativity to k-12 learners, dedicated apprentices, and in the Greater New Haven community.

The Artists' Challenge

Inspired by nature, Leonardo applied the concept of aerodynamics to envision human mechanical flight. Leonardo da Vinci's Codex on the Flight of Birds demonstrates the artist's power for observation, imagination, and invention.

The Artist's Challenge is to create a piece that embodies the idea of flight. In the backyard of the Eli Whitney Museum, we can observe the birds of East Rock Park, notice the changing water currents from the Lake Whitney Dam, and gaze at the occasional flying machine above. Apply Leonardo's watchful methods to your surroundings and imagine a work of art for the auction at our annual fundraiser.

Interested in participating as an artist? Click the button below:
Call for Entries

Event Sponsors

This event is made possible by sponsors from our local community. Sponsor and underwriter support is invaluable to helping the Eli Whitney Museum & Workshop offer scholarships to students in our programs year-round.

If you are interested in supporting this event through a sponsorship, contact 203.777.1833 or email manager@eliwhitney.org.

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