Former Astronaut Nicole Stott, who in 2009 became the first to paint a watercolor in space, recently reminded her artist friend Simon Kregar that this month is the 50th anniversary of “Earthrise,” the famous photograph of Earth suspended above the moon’s horizon, which was taken during the Apollo 8 mission by astronaut Bill Anders. Kregar got an idea. He emailed his fellow artists in the International Association of Astronomical Artists, Earth’s only artist’s guild devoted to space, suggesting that members commemorate the historic moment. The works you see in this gallery were part of the response. Founded in 1982, the IAAA today has 170 members in 43 countries and is currently participating in an exhibit at Space Center Houston marking NASA’s 60th anniversary, “Sixty Years of NASA Art.” The show is on view through January 7, 2019.
“Home II” by Mark Pestana
Notice the cluster of lights on the lunar surface at the lower left of Mark Pestana’s “Home II” (24 by 30 inches, oil on canvas). Those intriguing lights are what, at Apollo 8’s altitude, astronauts could see of what Pestana imagines: “an ice mining base, near the moon’s north pole, producing water, oxygen, and hydrogen for customers preparing for travel through our solar system. The residents of these frontier outposts will regard Earth as their ancestral home.”