Exhibition Dates: Jan. 16 - 30, 2020
In 2018, NASA invited college students and novice art professionals to share their excitement in an art competition about the space agency's goal of returning to the Moon, with the ultimate aim of placing a person on the surface of the planet Mars. The University of Houston-Downtown is happy to house the winning entries in its O'Kane Gallery for a two-week special event, "Project Mars," beginning January 16th. Included are four films and eight posters produced by young artists from all over the world. In each is an expression of genuine optimism and a refreshing inclusivity that communicates NASA's ambitions while skirting conventional company messaging. The moving and still images bring back the memories of delighted astonishment of anyone who witnessed the first Moon landing. More information about the artists can be found at www.ProjectMarsCompetition.org.
Judges for the competition were an impressive assembly from a variety of backgrounds, including Gareth Edwards, film director for such movies as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Joshua Grossberg, Vice President, Creative at McCANN, New York; Samantha Christoforetti, Astronaut at the European Space Agency; Mickey Fisher, Writer and Producer for such programs as National Geographic Mars and SyFy Extant; retired Astronaut and now artist, Nicole Stott; Bobak Ferdowsi, Rocket Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Tim Dodd, Photographer and Space Evangelist on social media.
The "Project Mars Competition" was co-organized by NASA and SciArt Exchange. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the nonprofit SciArt Exchange (www.SciArtExchange.org) supports, prepares, and convenes people of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations to discuss and potentially solve future space, science, and technology challenges. SciArt Exchange was conceived based on the international Humans in Space Art Program, which invites participants to communicate creatively about the future of space and uses their multimedia artwork in displays and performances that engage others. To date, this Program has inspired over 9,000 participants from over sixty countries and three million artwork viewers and listeners worldwide.