Local Digital Artist to Speak at D.C. Space Exploration Conference

May 21, 2008

Schaumburg digital artist and NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Jim Plaxco has been selected to speak at the International Space Development Conference in Washington D.C. Thursday May 29. Mr. Plaxco will deliver the presentation “Using Art to Promote Space Exploration” which explores the topic of how art has been used to inform and influence the public with respect to the exploration of outer space. According to Mr. Plaxco “An example of how art can influence public policy are Thomas Moran's paintings of Yellowstone. He participated in an expedition there in 1871, the public was inspired by the paintings of what he saw to such an extent that in 1872 President Grant made Yellowstone our first national park. A space age parallel would be the 1950's illustrations of Chesley Bonestell combined with the narrative of Wernher von Braun for the influential series of Colliers magazine articles which led Disney to create a series of documentaries.”

In addition to creating astronomical art and independently working with imaging data returned by various NASA robotic missions to Mars, Mr. Plaxco previously chaired and served as Chief Judge in the National Space Society 2007-2008 Space Settlement Art Contest and served as a judge in NASA's 2008 Life and Work on the Moon space art contest. “Having served as a judge in two national space art contests, I can't tell you how exciting it was to be one of the first people to see all this great, newly created space art. I applaud both the National Space Society and NASA for the work they have done to promote both space art and related artistic endeavors.”

Also appearing at the International Space Development Conference, which runs May 28 thru June 1, are Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut; Hugh Downs, Broadcaster; Dr. John Marburger, Science Adviser to the President and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Elon Musk, Co-founder of PayPal and Space Exploration Technologies; Miles O'Brien, Chief Technology and Environment Correspondent, CNN; Burt Rutan, President of Scaled Composites and designer of SpaceShipOne.

For further information and/or interviews, contact Jim Plaxco.