Roadmap to Space Settlement 2014 International Student Art Contest

Space Colony at L5 Lagrange Point painting by Rick Guidice
Space Colony at L5 Lagrange Point painting by Rick Guidice

The National Space Society (NSS) has announced its Roadmap to Space Settlement 2014 International Student Art Contest. The objective of this art contest is to get students creating space art that can be used to illustrate Milestones to Space Settlement: An NSS Roadmap, a strategic space development planning document that was created to clearly illustrate a path forward in the quest to create a spacefaring civilization.

The artistic theme for this contest is the realistic depiction of either an asteroid settlement or a space settlement that is under construction. With respect to asteroid settlements, asteroids are potentially valuable resources due to their composition. The presence of natural resources combined with a low gravity environment makes them an ideal location for mining operations. Unfortunately there has been very little asteroid settlement art created to date.

While there is an abundance of space art depicting space settlements, there is a scarcity of art that shows these settlements in the process of being built – hence the art category for the construction of space settlements.

The requirement that the art must be a realistic depiction of either an asteroid settlement or a space settlement under construction will hopefully lead the student artists to first do some basic research on the subject.

The art contest is open to full-time students aged 12 to 25 world-wide. Art must be submitted by March 16, 2014 with the winners announced by April 1, 2014. In terms of prizes, there will be one Grand Prize and up to 12 First Prizes awarded on a school grade level basis. There is also an opportunity for some artwork to be awarded an Honorable Mention. Details for the prizes for the art contest's winners is detailed on the contest web site (listed below).

My Role as Art Judge

As one of the judges for the art contest, I will be paying attention to the aesthetics of the compositions. But artistic aesthetics will take a back seat to realism. It will be obvious which artists researched the subject and which artists did not. One suggestion I have for student artists entering the contest is to seek out a science teacher for advice on the science and engineering of living and working in space.

Art Contest Links and Reference Links

Contest Links (no longer available)

  • Roadmap to Space Settlement 2014 International Student Art Contest Page
  • Roadmap to Space Settlement International Student Art Contest Submission Requirements

Research Resource Links

  • Milestones to Space Settlement: An NSS Roadmap document (no longer at
  • NASA Space Settlements Resource Links (site formerly at now gone)
  • NSS Asteroids Resources (was at
  • NSS Space Settlement Nexus (no longer at
  • NSS Space Settlement Library (no longer at

In closing I want to wish all students entering the contest the best of luck and do urge you to research the subject of your painting (digital or otherwise). Approach your art project as though you were an engineer or an architect out to create a real working space settlement. Do that and you will greatly improve your chances of being a winner in the contest.

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 2:34 pmand is filed under Art Contests, Calls for Art, Calls for Submissions, Space Art.

One Response to “Roadmap to Space Settlement 2014 International Student Art Contest”

  1. Adolf Schaller says:
    December 10, 2013 at 11:44 am

    This is a most excellent idea. The emphasis on plausible realism, in particular, is an especially important ingredient in conveying information within the context of real engineering possibility as well as transmitting the driving inspiration and excitement necessary to strive for attainable goals and dreams we aspire to. When it comes to artistic expression in the service of science and technology, especially to the young who are yet uninfected with the cynicisms that plague adulthood, there can be no more powerful inducement toward the communication of ideas and their realization than a strong understanding and abiding attention to what nature permits. That should never be regarded as a limitation of artistic expression, but a liberation. A proper communion of art and science to carry on a vision of the future worthy of the better nature of our species has always been a solid bet. May your efforts succeed spectacularly and I look forward to seeing the outcome!