Artists of all kinds were invited to apply for the chance to visit our Goddard Space Flight Center to be inspired by the giant, golden, fully-assembled James Webb Space Telescope mirror. Webb has a mirror that is nearly 22 feet high and (to optimize it for infrared observations) is covered in a microscopic layer of actual gold. Because of Webb’s visually striking appearance, the project hosted a special viewing event on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
There was an overwhelming response to the event invitation and ultimately twenty-four people were selected to attend. They represented a broad range of artistic media and styles, including: watercolor, 3D printed sculpture, silk screening, acrylics, sumi-e (East Asian brush technique), comics, letterpress, woodwork, metalwork, jewelry making, fiber art, ink, mural painting, kite-making, tattooing, scientific illustration, poetry, songwriting, and video making.
The artists spent several hours sitting right in front of the telescope, where they sketched, painted, took photos and even filmed a music video.
While some of the pieces of art were finished at the event, most of the artists went home with their heads full of ideas and sketchbooks full of notes.
We will continue to add event photos and art here to our Flickr.
This is Brandi Smart’s finished work, titled "Celestial Bodies."
ARTIST’S STATEMENT ON THIS WORK:
18 tattoos applied to volunteers, based on the future observations JWST will make, referencing many composite images from joint space efforts. It is a wonder to me that any of this is even possible, and everything we do as a species is connected to everything out there. You can’t help but feel "alien." "How strange it is to be anything at all."
NASA Image Use Policy
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