News From the IAAA

The New IAAA Site

The new IAAA website is built to provide visitors with a variety of astronomical content.  We have a new Gallery feature, Workshops reports, a library of references and books, an archive of previous newsletters, as well as lots of new member-only materials.  Take a look around and feel free to leave comments as we continue to improve the site by adding new features, news, and our favorite thing – space art!

Our Alien Earth has launched!

Do you want to walk on the surface of another planet?  Do you yearn to see alien skies filled with incredible sights?  Then you should check out the Patreon project “Our Alien Earth” at “”.  Our Alien Earth is a project by space artists from the IAAA to show how and why places on Earth look just places on other planets.  Filled with photos and art, each chapter of the project will take you to some exotic place around the solar system, learn what makes it so incredible, then drop you off to stand on the surface and see it for yourself through the wonder of virtual reality.  Look up and see Jupiter in the sky.  Witness the plumes of alien volcanoes towering overhead.  Learn how they have come to be and how you can see them for yourself.  All it takes is a little imagination….

New IAAA logo!

Hey Gang! Check out the new IAAA logo! This one is well suited for use in digital signatures or on web sites or business cards. Just like the old NASA “meatball” logo, the old IAAA logo can still be used, the Board just felt it was time to “modernize” and give members more options. JPEG files are available for all members to download are in the Archive. Special thanks to Trond Abrahamson for the re-design!

The Art of Planetary Sciences Art show, DPS

Members of the IAAA were invited to show this past October at The 48th American Astronomical Societies, Division of Planetary Sciences, The Art of Planetary Sciences Art show.. Whew! We had a number of IAAA artists showing this year, Marilynn Flynn, Michelle Rouch, Samuel Dietze, Mark Pestana, Lucy West-Binnal, Michael Carroll, Simon Kregar, and Dave Ginsberg. This show was run by Dr. Jamie Molaro who for the past 3 years has run the Art of Planetary Sciences art show in Tucson. Rick Sternbach and Mark Pestana were gracious enough to assist with set up. Overall the show had roughly 100 works of art ranging from sculpture to multimedia and paintings. It seemed very well received by the attendees of the conference with several notable people stopping by to engage us. In addition to the planetary scientist crowd the other artists were very interested in the IAAA and we worked diligently to promote it. As well as the diverse and varied art show, the very talented chalk artist Holly Lynn Schineller created an amazing work in front of the conference center! Of particular note was the artist Ekaterina Smirnova who is a Planetary Scientist with ESA and studied comet P 67. She created these amazing large water/ charcoal paintings utilizing ionized water mixed with the correct proportions of the chemical makeup of the comet and charcoal as the dust. Overlaying this was an augmented reality component you could see with your smart device with music, the sounds of the comet and color. She was very well received, and I will be following up with an invitation to join. On top of the art, Dr. Morlno set us up with a tour of the Planetary Society and Rick Sternbach (henceforth known as the “Amazing Rick”) got only us IAAA artists invited back that evening for pizza and to record an episode of Planetary Radio (the Planetary Societies Podcast) with Mat Kaplan. The reception was really overwhelming, Mat and Donna really went out of their way! The Amazing Rick, Marilynn Flynn and myself were interviewed for a future Podcast and were able to talk about the IAAA and our Art at length! The Planetary Society seemed genuinely interested our history with them and what we are currently doing. Not sure what will happen here, but staying in contact certainly wouldn’t hurt. In all this was a great event, the quality of art was much improved from years past and I encourage all our membership to participate in the future.

IAAA at the AIAA Space 2016 Forum and Exposition

During the week of September 12-16, 2016, the IAAA put on an art show exhibit at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SPACE 2016 Forum and Exposition, held at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California. Here I am along with fellow IAAA space artists, AIAA members, and great pals, Michelle Rouch and Mark Pestana. The three of us are a can-do team and we had a blast together! We had VIP visits by none other than NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who worked with Mark, and AIAA Executive Director Sandy Magnus. We were visited by students and we did our best to encourage them. We even managed to sell some art! A big thanks to Michelle for doing all the hard work behind the scenes to make this event happen.

The Tucson-Chapter celebrates Osiris REx!

Did you know that Mayor Jonathan Rothchild declared September “Space Exploration Month” in Tucson? We are celebrating the declaration of Space Exploration Month! Wednesday, September 7, 2016, in association with the University of Arizona, R Bar, and Maynards Market Place, Time in Cosmology will feature “Space Exploration Night” which includes the famous Physics Bus and UA Senior Lecturer of Physics, Shawn Jackson, at the R Bar, a prize raffle, and Maynards delicious, “The Space Dinner.” In addition, Stargazing with the UA Astronomy Club, and a viewing of Space Art from the Tucson-Chapter of the International Association of Astronomical Artists throughout the evening will make this an event not to be missed! And then on the 8th, come celebrate the launch of Osiris REx at Hotel Congress where you can enjoy even more art, performances, and stargazing! For more information follow the link here:

MOL Art from the Collection of John B. Charles

MOL Art from the Collection of John B. Charles
August through September 2016
Evelyn Meador Branch Library (Seabrook, Texas)
2400 North Meyer Avenue, Seabrook, TX 77586
(Found on the collectSPACE member forum.)

Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) in Earth orbit, 1967, McDonnell Douglas.
Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) in Earth orbit, 1967, McDonnell Douglas.

From the collectSPACE member forum.

John’s collection of vintage paintings illustrating the U.S. Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory is on display now through September in the Evelyn Meador Branch Library in Seabrook, Texas. It has been displayed before but now it is matted and framed nicely.

John will give his lecture on MOL including the artwork on two Saturdays in September: September 10, 1-3 pm, and September 17, 11-1 pm. Other guided tours can be arranged.

From John’s AstroCryptoTriviology website:

The MOL Art Collection is a set of thirty-three illustrations that I acquired in March 2013. They depict the human-oriented aspects of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL). MOL was a joint project of the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) that was initiated in 1965 and cancelled in 1969 without having flown a single mission.

Vero Beach Museum of Art: “Out of this World: The Art and Artists of NASA”

Vero Beach Museum of Art (Florida)
Out of this World: The Art and Artists of NASA
June 25, 2016 – September 25, 2016
3001 Riverside Park Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963
(Found on the collectSPACE member forum.)

Stan Stokes, Ascent of Atlantis , oil on canvas, n.d., 40 1/2" x 50 3/4" in, Collection of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Stan Stokes, Ascent of Atlantis , oil on canvas, n.d., 40 1/2″ x 50 3/4″ in, Collection of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

From the website:

“Out of this World: The Art and Artists of NASA,” opening June 25 in the Museum’s Holmes Gallery, will feature seventy-one works of art from the collection of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), housed at Kennedy Space Center.

Since the NASA Art Program was founded in 1962, the agency has commissioned and collected hundreds of works of art to represent the agency’s primary mission: “to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.” NASA’s hope was and is that these high-quality works of art would make their highly technical and complex scientific mission more accessible to the public.

These paintings and photographs have the power to shape viewers’ perceptions concerning space exploration, and motivate them to find meaning in the region where art and science find common ground.

The exhibition will continue through September 25, 2016.

Space Art on Display

My impressionistic space art is on display at the Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Penn State University, Altoona Campus. The Juried Arts Exhibit is part of the Blair County Arts Festival which runs through this weekend ( The paintings, both oil on canvas, 48″x36″, are entitled “Exploring Exploding Galaxies”, and “Rhododendron Nebulae”.

Jupiter Clergy Stole and Others

You may know that the mainstay, at least financially, for AFTS is clergy stoles and banners. I often take elements of space art to create stoles and banners. We print our own fabric, using our own art.

Imagined Futures Now Open in Seattle

For those of you fortunate enough to be near Seattle Washington, a new exhibit has opened in the newly opened, Paul Allen owned Pivot Art + Culture Gallery.

Imagined Futures Poster
Imagined Futures Poster

The show runs through July, and features a great collection of original artwork including this classic by Chesley Bonestell:


Here’s a quote from the Pivot Art + Culture site about the show.

Imagined Futures features works by including Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, John Berkey, Jim Burns, Don Dixon, Bob Eggleton, Chris Foss, Fred Gambino, Ron Miller, Ludek Pesek, Richard Powers, Alex Schomburg, and Tim White, alongside, for the first time works from other artists inspired by the visualization of the unknown; Ansel Adams, Max Ernst, Robert Longo, Rene Magritte, Simon Norfolk, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth. In partnership with the Flying Heritage Collection and Living Computer Museum, Imagined Futures will also include artifacts from the history of rocketry and computing.

Back when Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum opened up in Seattle, they had a number of these pieces on display. At first I thought they were prints, but on closer examination I was floored to see that they were in fact originals. To be expected of course from the archives of someone as well-known as Paul Allen.

I will be going to this show soon and collect as much as I can for a future review.

2016 Arizona Governors Arts Awards

The Tucson-Chapter of the IAAA has been nominated for the 2016 Governors Arts Award in Arizona in the category of Organization for our work with STEM outreach and the development of the multiple art shows we arranged last year! We were honored to have letters of recommendation sent in by Dr. Timothy Swindle, the director of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Dr. Chris Impey, Deputy head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, and Matt Adamson, our go-to guy at Biosphere 2! In addition, Michelle Rouch was nominated for the Arts in Education and Simon Kregar in the Artist Categories! The 35th Annual 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards is next month on Wednesday, March 23 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Please wish us all luck!

“Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum

Exhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science Museum``Exhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science MuseumExhibit at the London Science Museum

Return to Cosmonauts

I returned to the Cosmonauts exhibition recently, and was delighted to see that they now permit photography. Attached ate shots of the actual Vostok 6 capsule which carried Valentona Tereshkova, Two different space suits, (one for Mars and one for EVA), and a Lunokhod, the first rover to operate on another world.

2016-02-23_56ccd3836a720_spacesuits.jpg 2016-02-23_56ccd38369bc3_vostok6.jpg 2016-02-23_56ccd3836a948_lunokhod2.jpg

LK Lander

Space was fairly tight, so despite a wide angle lens, I had to stick 2 images together to get the whole thing in in every case.lk1 lk4 lk5Other items on display

The top photo below shows the arrange of Laika, the first dog in space. Laika was a stray from the streets of Moscow, chosen for her exceptionally calm temperament.

The scientists involved later said that what they learned was not worth the life of a dog.laika

Sputnik 3

This is a metal model of the third Soviet satellite, Sputnik 3. It wasd originally intended as the first, but was too heavy for the earliest incarnation of the R7 / Soyuz booster.



Finally, Venera. This was the first probe to land on the surface of Venus. (Venera is Russian for Venus)



Congratulations to our new Fellow!

Every two years the IAAA Fellows nominate and vote to elect a new Fellow (the number now standing at around 27). As Director of Fellows I am delighted to announce that our new Fellow for 2015 is none other than our President (who many members will have assumed already was a Fellow!): Jon Ramer.

Don’t forget that all Artist members in good standing can aspire to this honour. It is awarded to those who are not only excellent artists, but are active in and have contributed to the running and success of the organization; so Jon qualifies on all counts.


Jon 8796

Anyone recognize this painting?


Hi Folks, Got a contact note from a person asking about this painting. He’s trying to identify the artist and provenance. He suspects it may be an Albert Beirstadt from around 1860. The red circle in the center is to point out the image of a comet in the sky. If anyone has any ideas that could help identify this painting, please drop a note here and/or the listserver. Thanks. Jon

Call for Abstracts: CASI ASTRO 2016 Conference


Hello IAAAers! You may be interested in the Call for Abstracts for the ASTRO 2016 conference, which is organized every two years by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI). At the ASTRO conference government, industry and academia meet to discuss space-related issues. In the 2016 edition, for the first time, there will be an active art and culture component, of which I am the organizer. I would like to invite you to consider submitting abstracts for papers/presentations which relate to astronomy and the arts; deadline is December 16, 2015. More info here:

Space Art exhibit in Vancouver

Elegant buildingIAAA exhiition of ArtIAAA exhiition of Art

Hi Folks, The IAAA just wrapped up another art exhibit in Vancouver, Canada. The Canadian Space Society showed our modular exhibit at the Vancouver Space Museum, from 5 to 20 November 2015. It was placed in the meeting area where hundreds of school children gathered every day between tours. Apparently it was very popular with astronaut- and astronomer-wannbes of tomorrow! Here’s a couple of photos, inside and out.

New AWB Astro Artist of the Month

Bettina Forget is AstroArtist of the Month (a role previously held by Jon Ramer, Dan Durda, David Hardy, and Bill Hartmann) on Astronomers Without Borders. See her story here.

IAAA Member pins!

IAAA Member Pin

Hi Folks! We have ordered and received a batch of NEW membership pins! You can buy them in the IAAA store for a mere $5 each plus shipping. Wouldn’t it be great to have an extra pin? Now you can!

Visions of Space – Setting Up

Setting Up!photo 2 photo 3 photo 1

Thanks to David A Hardy for the photos – Setting up for the Visions of Space exhibition, by the British Interplanetary Society in Wells.

Visions of Space

Mimas Dawn by Nick Stevens

The British Interplanetary Society is holding a gallery exhibition in the city of Bath.

Work by many of the British members of the IAAA will be on display there!

Date: 7-21 November 2015
Start Time: 11 am
End Time: 4 pm

Venue: Wells and Mendip Museum, 8 Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2UE

Workshop 2017

Hey Folks – on 21 Aug 2017 a TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE will pass right across the United States and we are going to have a front row seat!

Plans are to stay at the 7N Ranch and Heise Resort in north eastern Idaho, less than five miles from the center line of totality, arriving 19 Aug and departing 25 Aug.  There will be trips to the Craters of the Moon National Park and several other interesting geological features in the area, including Yellowstone National Park, as well as viewing the eclipse itself.

So far some 18 members have signed up for the workshop, add your name to the list before room runs out!  Contact Jon Ramer at “ramerj -at-” and get in on the fun!

More details to come….