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Space Art
Part 2: Seeing above & beyond ...

Coke Float
by B. E. Johnson

This part of the Space Art section provides lists of galleries, photography, the art of mission patches, and other resources on the web

The Arts Catalyst - Dancers on the Russian
parabolic trainer aircraft experiencing microgravity

Space Art Galleries

NASA Galleries

ESA Galleries

This site is dedicated to art and design of the future. This includes space art but also other categories such as robotics and futuristic architecture.

Mars Art

Space Art Stores:

Space Sculptures/Installations
Space inspired sculptures, glass-works, and other 3-D obejcts.

Space Art in Glass

Space Colony Art

The prospect of space settlelments have inspired many space artists to envision how such towns might appear:

Classic Space Illustrations/Magazine & Book Covers
Illustrations for both science fact and science fiction publications, especially books and magazines covers, have been a major source of income for space artists for over a century. Here are some resources devoted to this type of art.

Space comic books/graphic novels
The art in space inspired comic books and graphic novels can be very inspired as well.

Space Art for Kids
There exists lots of great space art aimed at children, especially in space books aimed at young people.

Young Artists Programs
Other sites

Space Photography

We list here a sampling of exhibits of astronomical and space exploration photographs, which were created with a particular artistic viewpoint and talent.


Space Art History

Dreams of Space
John Sisson offers this website devoted to the history of art in childrens' non-fiction books about space with a particular focus on the period between 1949 to 1974.

History -IAAA
The history of the International Association for Astronautical Arts, which was formed in the early 1980s.

Space Art History - Ars Astronautica
Ars Astronautica offers a long informative page about the history of space art. Also lots of other space art related resources.

Visions of Space
This book by David A. Hardy with a forword by Arthur C. Clarke this book traces the history of space art and displays the work of 75 artists. Published by Paper Tiger/Dragon's World. Out of print but can be found in used book stores on line and off.
Articles / Resources

Space Art Associations

Ars Astronautica 
Spectacular site devoted to art and space edited by the artist Arthur Woods.

International Association for Astronomical Artists
This organization was founded in 1982 and now has a membership of 120.

"...The object of the I.A.A.A., as a nonprofit foundation is to implement and participate in astronomical and space-art projects, to promote education about astronomical art, and to foster further international cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration of the universe."- from the IAAA Manifesto.

See also

Leonardo Space Art Project
The Leonardo project

".. aims to make visible the work of artists, writers, composers and others interested in the exploration of outer space. We also aim to help establish contact between artists, scientists and engineers interested in working together on space art projects." - Leonardo website at MIT.

OURS Foundation
Founded by Arthur Woods. the OURS Foundation seeks to

"... introduce, nurture and expand a cultural dimension to humanity's astronautical endeavors. This task will be manifested through the identification, investigation, support and realization of related cultural, astronautical, humanitarian, environmental and educational activities which may take place both on and off planet Earth, and which are deemed as beneficial to the development and advancement of human civilization in this new environment." - OURS home page.

OURS has organized numerous activities such as the Ars Ad Astra space art exhibit on the MIR space station in 1995.

Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes, and Celebrities for Space Exploration
SPAACSE is a space activist organization made up of people from the arts, entertainment and sports world.

The group offers yearly scholarship awards to promising space artists, There are also frequent space "fun" contests: SPAACSE -- Member Contests

Other Art & Space/Science Organizations

Art in Space

The Arts Catalyst - Dancers on the Russian
parabolic trainer aircraft experiencing microgravity

Some art has now been taken to space and more trips are planned. These have been for both symbolic and practical purposes.

Arts -Catalyst: the science-art agency
This British based organization sponsors projects that combine art and science. With the support of the European Space Agency and Russian space organizations, they have sponsored several space related projects such as Kitsou Dubois's: Gravity Zero which involved studies of dancers moving in microgravity during parabolic flights.

Richard Garriott on ISS
During his visit on the ISS during Oct.14-23, 2008, Richard Garriott planned a number of space art related activities, including the display of a selection of artworks brought with him and the creation of artworks of his own.


Frank Pietronigro
Pietronigro has carried out a space arts projects while riding on planes flying parabolic trajectories to provide periods of microgravity.

Lowry Burgess
Burgess "created the first official Non-Scientific Payload, the "Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture", taken into outer space by NASA in March of 1989". Burgess is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Nassar Azam
With his Life in Space project, Azam created in 2008 a triptych of paintings during weightlessness periods aboard a Russian ILYUSHIN 76 MDK aircraft flying a series of parabolas. He later sold one of the paintings for $332,500.

Other Microgravity Projects
These projects involve micro-gravity and art:

Cosmic Dancer Sculpture
This sculpture was created by Arthur Woods, of Ars Astronautica, and was taken to the Mir space station in May 1993.

A 28min video of the cosmonauts Alexander Polischuk and Gennadi Mannakov and their experiences with the sculpture in weightlessness was made. A short clip is available.

To finance the project, which cost $150,000, he created 99 versions of the sculpture for sale.

Here's a short video of the artwork on the station:


Other Art in Space

Damien Hirst on Mars
The European Mars Express mission to Mars in 2003 involved an orbiter vehicle that released a separate module called Beagle 2 that was suppose to land on the surface.

To help calibrate the lander camera, it carried along a painting by the artist Damien Hirst. The artist, who had won the prestigous Turner prize with a colorful "dot" style painting, worked with the imager's scientists to create a similar work with carefully chosen colors and materials to insure that the camera would have a good metric to obtain the true Martian colors.

This would have been the first human work of art to be placed on the surface of another world. Unfortunately, the Beagle 2 did not land safely on the surface and the mission failed.

Tate in Space
The British Tate museum has begun a program to put an art site in space.

Susan Collins, director of the Tate in Space program, has informed me that the ETALAB - Extra-Terrestrial Architecture Laboratory is "one of three architectural practices invited to propose models for a new Tate in Space as part of the Tate in Space project."

" There is also now launched a competition open to everyone to also submit propositions/models for the new Tate in space...[D]etails can be found at http://www.tate.org.uk/space/spacearch.htm#4

The ISADORA Module
Richard Seabra led this effort to add an arts module to the International Space Station. Visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, artisans, and other creative people would visit the station to experience Space and communicate their impressions to the world in their own unique way.

[Read my suggestions for artistic creations in space in the Future section. - Ed.]

Can Art Break Science's Monopoly Grip on Space?- Space.com-Apr.23.00

This simulated space habitat is a

"high-tech, art-science project designed by Slovenian artist Marko Peljhan and managed by the Projekt Atol Institute. It is a temporary sustainable laboratory designed to support 4 - 6 artists and scientists working and living alongside each other in isolation for periods of up to 120 days." - Arts Catalyst

Other Projects and Concepts

Space Crafts

This is a relatively newly defined category of space art that involves handmade items with space themes. While 2-D art works (paintings, drawings, etc.) can be included, the focus here is on assembled creations such as a shirt with an original space print on it, a stuffed space shuttle pillow, a rocket pendant, etc.

Space Dancing



A clip of Kitsou Dubois demonstrating dance in weightlessness on a parabolic flight.

The Planets - Ohio Ballet

  • NASA Glenn Research Center "was a collaborating partner for a ballet choreographed by Mr. Jeffrey Graham Hughes, Artistic Director of the Ohio Ballet, to the music of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. It was presented in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, in February of 2000." (See poster image above.)
  • The company dancEvert collaborated on aeronautical themed work in 2006 called Confluence. A similar theme was in a work in 2003 called Wild Blue Yonder from the choreographer Elizabeth Streb.

Space Patch Art

From Mercury to the most recent shuttle flight, the astronauts on every mission wore a unique patch designed by the crew. A patch symbolically describes the mission objectives.

When a mission is first assigned, a member of each crew, typically a first time astronaut, becomes the lead contact with the NASA Graphics Division. He or she communicates the ideas of the whole crew to a graphics programmer who constructs a computer image for the patch. Once approved by the crew, the patches are made by authorized manufacturers.

Besides US manned missions, patches are also available for Soviet/Russian missions and for many unmanned/commercial spacecraft missions.

Collecting patches has become a popular hobby. They have high artistic merit and offer an interesting approach to learning the history of space exploration.


Other Space Art Resources
Auctions & Exchanges
Art Instruction

Astronomy Drawing
Astronomers, amateur and professional, often make sketches of what they are seeing in their telescopes, e.g. lunar or planetary features, for both enjoyment and future reference. Here are some astronomers showing their sketches:

Fourmilab - SciFi books online
John Walker's Fourmilab
presents online two classic Jules Verne novels, which are in the public domain, unabridged and with the wonderful original illustrations: De la Terre à la Lune & Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
Space Art Screensavers


The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey





Stream of Stars : The Soviet-American Space Art Book In the Stream of Stars:
The Soviet-American
Space Art Book

A, Sokolov et al, 1990
Amazon: US  UK

Hardyware: The Art of David A. Hardy
Hardyware: The Art of David A. Hardy
C. Morgan, S. Baxter, D. A. Hardy- 2001
Amazon: US  UK
" A retrospective of the life and work of David A Hardy, the world's longest-established space artist, and a former President of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA)"

Art of Chesley Bonestell
The Art of
Chesley Bonestell

Ron Miller, Frederick C. Durant III - 2001
Amazon: US  UK

Finally a book with a broad selection of Bonestell's glorious space art. Bonestell's marvelous visions of space helped prepare the public of the 1940s and '50s for the space age and continue to inspire us today.

Visions of Spaceflight
Visions of Spaceflight : Images from the Ordway Collection
Frederick Ordway - 2001
Amazon: US  UK


























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