In 2016, shortly after retiring from NASA, I started writing this Space for Art column as a way to share spaceflight and space-themed projects and the wonderful intersection between science and art. The title of the column was a way to capture these space sci-art subjects but was also very personal for me as I was having my own ‘space for art’ transition from my career as an astronaut to that of an artist. The most important space and art project I’ve been supporting is the Spacesuit Art Project. In the Fall/Autumn 2016 issue of ROOM, we shared the story of this very special project through two articles – ‘Art, Space and Inspiration’ by me and ‘Paediatric Cancer Patients Reach for the Stars with Space Inspired Art Project’ by artist and creator of the Spacesuit Art Project Ian Cion. In this issue I’d like to share where these beautiful spacesuits have taken us - the creation of the ‘Space for Art Foundation’.
Our Space for Art Foundation story began with the awesomeness of the Spacesuit Art Project. Who would have guessed how amazingly inspirational colourful spacesuits made from children’s artwork could be!
What started with one artist, with children undergoing paediatric cancer treatment in one hospital, in one country, with one art spacesuit, has blossomed into a global Space for Art community. Many artists, astronauts and cosmonauts, space and health professionals, and most importantly children in hospitals and schools around the world, have been working together and we now have four art spacesuits, three of which have travelled to and from the International Space Station (ISS).