International Association of Astronomical Artists

A new space art exhibit hosted by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, in conjunction with the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), titled “The Beauty of Space,” will open at the museum on Feb. 26, 2021.

IAAA is a non-profit organization whose members implement and participate in astronomical and space art projects, promote education about space art, and foster international cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration of the Universe. Founded in 1982, IAAA was formally registered as an association of astronomical artists in 1986. Since its founding, IAAA has grown to number over 120 members, representing twenty countries.

The Exhibit, which will be on display in the museum’s Cold War Gallery, will include 49 awe-inspiring pieces in varying mediums from 20 artists. IAAA selected the artwork for the exhibition through a jury process and features such topics as space missions, spacecraft, astronauts, planets, constellations, nebulas, and galaxies to name a few.

SPACE ART” or “ASTRONOMICAL ART”, is the genre of modern artistic expression emerging from knowledge and ideas associated with outer space, both as a source of inspiration and as a means for visualizing and promoting space travel.  Like other genres of artistic creation, Space Art has many facets and encompasses realism, impressionism, hardware, sculpture, abstract imagery, even zoological art. Though artists have been making art with astronomical elements for a long time, the genre of Space Art itself is still in its infancy, having begun only when humanity gained the ability to look off our world and artistically depicted what we see out there.  Whatever the stylistic path, the artist is generally attempting to communicate ideas somehow related to space, often including an appreciation of the infinite variety, wonder, and vastness of the Universe which surrounds us.

Just as 19th-century painters used art to spark exploration of the American West, space artists today use the latest scientific research to create works that inspire our journeys into the next frontier. As humankind seeks to uncover the mysteries contained in the far reaches of the universe, space art seeks to show us what we may find. While we do not yet know all the stories held by the stars, “The Beauty of Space” exhibit spurs us to unleash our curiosity and keep moving forward on this grand human adventure.

This exhibit is on display through Sept. 26, 2021. Admission and parking are free.