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The New NSS Space Art Gallery

Shattered Dreams digital painting
Shattered Dreams digital painting snippet

On Wednesday, I flipped the switch and the National Space Society’s Space Art Gallery went live. Creating the NSS Space Art Gallery has allowed me to combine two of my loves: art and space exploration. I was actually drawn to art because of space art. As a child I found the paintings of astronauts exploring distant worlds enthralling. Later I became a member of the National Space Institute (now the National Space Society) because of their work on promoting the human exploration and development of space.

Being a director of the NSS, as well as the chair of the NSS Web Oversight Committee, put me in the unique position to address what I saw as a problem. While there are a number of web sites that focus on astronomical art, their really is no central hub for art that focuses on the human exploration of the solar system. There are several NASA sites that feature space art but they are limited to art created in the past to document previous space missions and what little future looking art there is is tied to specific NASA programs.

My first undertaking to address this issue was in response to a request to chair a NSS committee whose job it would be to create a space calendar. Rather than relying on stock NASA space art, I turned the task of illustrating the calendar into a space art contest. Thus was born the NSS’ first Space Settlement Art Contest.

Subsequent to that experience I proposed that the NSS create an open space art gallery to which artists could apply for exhibition. I saw this as being a win-win situation for all concerned. The NSS would benefit by having a new source of content for the web site and by showing our support for space art and artists by providing this free service. The artists would benefit from the exposure they receive since the NSS web site has a very high page rank and traffic rank. And of course lovers of space art will benefit by having a central source of space art that they can visit.

To get the space art gallery up and running, I contacted a few of my space artist friends and asked if they would like to participate. Much to my delight they all agreed. The founding artists of the NSS Space Art Gallery are Frank Hettick, Walter Myers, David Robinson, and myself. In fact, David Robinson allowed NSS to use one of his works as the background image for the 2010 International Space Development Conference. for which I am the web master. In fact being the web master for the 2010 ISDC is one reason why I have not been more active of late in posting new material to my own web site and blog.

So please check out the new National Space Society Space Art Gallery. While the gallery currently has just 20 works of space art, I am hoping that as more artist’s join, this gallery will grow to become the web’s most significant collection of space art.

The Illustration Shattered Dreams

Just what is that a picture of? Well, it is a very small fragment of a digital painting titled Shattered Dreams. I created this work of digital art to serve as the cover art for the 2010 International Space Development Conference Program Book. I was inspired to create this art as a consequence of a debate I was having with another National Space Society director over the new Obama space policy. Yes, it is true that you never know where inspiration will come from. I am also donating one of the ten limited edition prints to the NSS space memorabilia auction that will be held at the ISDC. I will not reveal the full painting until the start of the ISDC so you’ll just have to check back here in a couple weeks to find out what it looks like – that or attend the ISDC.

Ad Astra, Jim

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