Patricia Vader

Listening to the Universe, 2021



“Listening to the Universe” invokes our ever-increasing understanding of the universe.

Five receivers looking like cosmic flowers are pointing up to the sky and back to us, capturing and redirecting the incoming electromagnetic waves from outer space. Spinning windmills move the signals around. The sculpture appeals to our sense of wonder about the whole universe and the new perspectives it offers, as scientists continue to decode its signals and unravel its mysteries. As a former professional astronomer, the artist remains engaged with the cosmos on a personal level.


Patricia Vader is a California-based metal sculptor with twelve years of experience in public art.

Her sculptures, many of them kinetic, are innovative, playful, uplifting and unique in their design and materials used. They appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds and elicit a joyful response. They are installed permanently or temporarily in cities and parks nationwide.

After an education and scientific career in astronomy, Patricia Vader turned to art, an endeavor that solicits the same brain activities of problem-solving, exploration of new venues and inventive imagination. During her formal art education, she was captivated by sculpture. She combined that with a love for working outdoors on big structures and interacting with the public, as she had done while teaching astronomy, to become a public artist. Her work has high visibility because of its bright colors and inventive kinetics as well as its scale.