For Faisal Abdu’Allah, it was an art teacher who played Miles Davis and John Coltrane records as the young student painted.

Those early jazz sessions encouraged the London teenager to pursue a career in art. Inspiration — entire life paths — can spring from small moments, chance encounters, mundane objects. That’s the premise explored by Abdu’Allah’s latest exhibit, Event Horizon: portraits of three physicists captured holding an object that inspired their careers.

Along with the companion exhibit Messages from the HorizonEvent Horizonis on display in the Main Gallery of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Memorial Union through Aug. 1.

Now a professor of art at UW–Madison, Abdu’Allah has partnered with other artists and physicists from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory to explore the intersection between art and science, the role of serendipity in our lives and the diverse ways we perceive and understand our universe.

The exhibits integrate with the upcoming International Cosmic Ray Conferencehosted by the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center in Madison July 24 to Aug. 1. Hundreds of physicists from around the world will descend on the Memorial Union to discuss the latest research on cosmic rays, energetic particles from space that constantly pelt Earth’s atmosphere with subtle information about the cosmos.

Read more at The University of Wisconsin-Madison News