Many people have cited science fiction as instilling in them an interest in space exploration. For me it wasn’t just science fiction but also space art, not to mention the space program itself. The vision of artists like Chesley Bonestell allowed me to imagine myself standing on the surface of other worlds – heady stuff for a kid.
Very early on NASA realized the power of art to capture the historic nature of our first steps out of the cradle. Art not just to illustrate yet to be built hardware but art to capture the emotional aspect of space exploration. NASA created the NASA Art Program in 1962 and gave artists unprecedented access to the astronauts and facilities so that those artists could share their impressions with the world.
NASA/ART: 50 Years of Exploration is a new book that features a broad sampling of the art produced by the NASA Art Program. I recently wrote a review of that book and provided a number of links to related space art resources.
Read the NASA/ART: 50 Years of Exploration book review
In 2006-2007 I managed the NSS’ first ever space art contest and production of the 2008 Space Settlement Calendar. For me the project was a true pleasure in that we were able to facilitate the creation of some great space art. You should check out the 2008 NSS Space Settlement Calendar Art Contest Gallery. The contest was repeated in 2007-2008 for the production of a calendar for 2009. If you don’t have a calendar for 2009 yet and you are a lover of space art, I highly recommend the NSS Space Settlement 2009 Wall Calendar which is currently on sale at a discounted price. Of course the proceeds go to support the National Space Society’s programs and projects like the International Space Development Conference.
For more space art, check out the NSS Photograph and Art Gallery Index
Ad Astra, Jim