Archive for Dr. Dan Durda

Art, Science, and Engineering Meet at Spacefest IV – Article by Michelle Rouch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2012 by womenavart

(Photo Credits: Mark Usciak)

Tucson, AZ, May 31 -June 3, 2012 — Despite the vast research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), little effort is being focused on an artistic angle to approach kids with a vehicle to draw their attention to aviation and aerospace sciences. Children are creative by nature. They are born scientists and by catching them early, we can focus their energy to harvest their instinctive nature to create. Engineers are artists, illustrating the adage that if you can conceive it, we can build it.

The young artist interrupts life on the Moon with an alien holding a sign, “Hi! Dick Gordon.” Little Arianna understood the importance of astronautically drawn artwork. Fellow IAAA Artist member and Apollo Astronaut, Alan Bean scribes, “Arianna – This is beautiful artwork. Congratulations. Alan”

Novaspace Galleries, Tucson, Arizona brought Art and Science together once again at Spacefest IV. Many people believe that Art and Science are complete opposites. The space art exhibit demonstrated how the two disciplines are united, as Leonardo da Vinci illustrated in his research. Per Novaspace, “Art throughout history has reflected our hunger for the untamed frontier. Movies, TV shows, books, magazines and games devoted to space themes show our obsession with the Universe.”

Mr. Kim Poor, owner of Novaspace Galleries and internationally renowned space artist, was one of the founders and first president of International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA). IAAA was founded in 1982, whose members participate in astronomical and space art projects to educate and foster relationships internationally in the area space and space exploration.

Known science journalist, founding and Fellow IAAA artist, Michael Carroll along with Senior Research Specialist at Lunar & Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and IAAA artist, Jim Scotti speak with a student from the Swiss Boarding School, Aiglon College, Switzerland alongside his escorts Christopher Starr and John Turner. The backdrop artwork is by Dr. Dan Durda, planetary scientist, astronomer, asteroid researcher, and Fellow IAAA artist. Nestled between the two IAAA artists illustrate Dr. Dan Durda‟s concept for a U.S. postage stamp that honors the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Michael Carroll dialog offered waxing poetry how art and science meet together, and how rich they overlap. This joining of art and science stated by Carroll, “has been likened to what biologists call the „Edge Effect,‟ where two disparate biomes meet. At the interface of these two biomes (for example the Arabian desert and the Gulf of Aqaba) the life is richer and more diverse than in either of the adjacent biomes. Astronomical art (and more generally science illustration) is like that: where science and art meet, there is a creative explosion!”

IAAA Artists: Marilynn Flynn and Pamela Lee at the Artist Table at Spacefest IV

Renowned founding IAAA artists, Marilynn Flynn next to Fellow, Pamela Lee, both are members of the NASA Fine Arts Program sit at the artist table studying Lee‟s painting of an alien seashore. The artists were discussing what would be the best placement of an alien life form in the scene for an alien sea visual and whether to use a binary star to infer a xeno planetary landscape or add a second sun.

Flynn participated in the Ars Ad Astra, theme “Space & Humanity” international competition to accompany the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Reiter to the Mir space station during his 180 day stay on the EUROMIR 95 mission. Ars Ad Astra understood the importance of art representation to merge art and science.

IAAA Artists (Left to Right): Marilynn Flynn, Pamela Lee, Michelle Rouch, Dr. Dan Durda, Lucy West, and Michael Carroll

Expressionism art takes on many forms. Writers have the ability to transcend readers‟ imagination by the use of carefully selected words. Spacefest IV was a time to share experiences between artists and engineers. Matt Angiulo shared his experience with author Andy Chaikin. When Matt Angiulo checked out a copy of “A Man on the Moon” from his high school library, he would never have expected that it would inspire him to become an aerospace engineer. As he started reading the book, he learned of the personal lives of the Apollo Astronauts and their struggles. “For the first time I grasped the significance of the accomplishment and I was fascinated by the details of the work required to make it possible,” Matt shared with author, Andy Chaikin that “A Man on the Moon” inspired him to become an Aerospace Engineer. Becoming an engineer has its challenges. The book gave Matt the strength during college to do the extra work and to stick with it. As he saw his classmates drop out around him, the stories offered in the book carried him through by reminding him that what seems to be impossible is indeed possible with a lot of hard work. For years after reading the book Matt shared how it changed his life.

America‟s well known author, speaker and space journalist, Andy Chaikin with Aeronautical Engineer and Lifetime Senior Member AIAA Matthew J. Angiulo

Many astronauts had joined American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at some point in their career. AIAA is a professional society for aerospace engineering. The society merged two earlier societies: Institute of Aerospace Sciences (IAS) and American Rocket Society. Appropriately, its first AIAA Fellow was Orville Wright. Author Tom Crouch chronicled fascinating historical events of AIAA history in his book, titled “Rocketeers and Gentlemen Engineers.”

AIAA Members: Matthew Angiulo, Michelle Rouch, Elishka Jepson and Dr. Jeff Jepson

Spacefest IV brought people together to share stories. Dr. Jim Horkovich, AIAA Fellow, Champion, Founder and Chair of Directed Energy Program Committee tells Dr. Aldrin his experience when working as a cooperative engineering student at Grumman Aircraft during the Apollo 12 Program. Backdrop painting by artist of energy Mimi Stuart’s expressionist art added a splash of color to Dr. Aldrin’s booth. Her Energy of Subject (EOS) style uses 23k gold and silver to capture the vibrant energy of space exploration.

Last man on the moon, Gene Cernan articulated his experience on the lunar surface with Michelle Rouch‟s abstract oil and gold plate painting, titled “Apollo XVII 40th Anniversary Commemorative.”

Second man on the moon, Apollo Astronaut and MIT graduate, Dr. Buzz Aldrin offers the next generation a message scribed “Go To Mars!” on the late and great American artist, best remembered for his space art stamps, Paul Calle, reproduction giclee, titled “POWER TO GO.”

Following in his father‟s footsteps, Chris Calle, who is well known for his 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first manned moon landing postage stamps, had each of the astronauts at Spacefest IV sign his father‟s giclée The artwork, “POWER TO GO” by Paul Calle shows the launch of the Saturn V and the POWER depicts the moment of thrust of the Atlas rocket motors. Each Astronaut wrote a significant quote about the rocket, their Mission or the future for space exploration. After Dr. Aldrin wrote Go To Mars!, he signed his name and paused. He looked at Chris Calle and said “This is for your father,” adding a personal touch by dotting the „i‟ in Aldrin.

Last man on the Moon, Apollo Astronaut and Aeronautical Engineer, Gene Cernan offered, “This is where it started with the Atlas.”
Retired US Air Force Brigadier General, Apollo Astronaut and an Eagle Scout, Charlie Duke added, “What a Ride! This thing is really shaking! I‟m holding on!”

Apollo Astronaut and doctorate in Astronautical Engineering from University of Michigan, Dr. Al Worden offered, “The Ultimate Launch! Great Painting.”

Apollo Astronaut, Aeronautical Engineer, and Fellow IAAA Artist Alan Bean wrote, “Chris – You have the DNA of the great artist that created this magnificent painting. An icon of the space age.”

Apollo Astronaut and Navy Captain (retired), Dick Gordon shared, “Get ready for the lightning strike!!”

Year after year, AIAA Tucson Section, award-winning Kids Club with Michelle Rouch offering a collaborative effort to combine art and engineering into one, conducted a mini project modeled after government acquisition examples for 8-9-10 year olds. These kids compete in the development of a simulated mini-program in conjunction with an art project to paint a unique rendition of the 4 forces of flight. Rouch had no doubt that kids armed with the right motivation and attitude, as well as working in teams would be able to complete the project. Art is a vehicle to communicate. If you can conceive it, the kids can build it.

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