Three U-M students were selected to travel to the International Space Station in May 2022. Well, their artwork was, that is. Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) hosted a university-wide art competition where the winners get a chance to see their artwork fly on the International Space Station next year.
The competition, which challenged students to come up with the most creative, visionary painting related to any aspect of space. All 35 submissions have been displayed in the Duderstadt center alongside rocketry hardware from Michigan Aerospace Science Association, a rocketry team from the College of Engineering’s Aerospace department. Of the 35 submissions, a panel of UM faculty chose three winners: “The Train” by Kimberly Zwolshen (Undergrad, Aerospace Engineering), “Good Morning Earth, from Outer Space” by Katherine Lee (Undergrad, LSA) and “A New Home” by Grace Ma (). Each piece was chosen for their artistic beauty and their creative vision of what space means now and in the near future.
“We were super impressed with the technical quality of the paintings and the diversity of approaches in expressing space through art,” said Owen Marr, Team Lead of SEDScast, a space exploration podcast at the University of Michigan. “This was a great way to get the space and art communities mixing, we hope to do more space art collaborations in the future, including sending 3D art to space.”
The apparent intersection between everyday life and other disciplines is very evident in the artwork displayed in the exhibit. “I wanted to depict something that feels ordinary, a part of everyday life,” said Kimberly Zwolshen, one of the competition winners. Other exhibits showcase the beauty of space and the intersection between everyday human life, the natural environment, and the vastness of space.
Many organizations and key players worked together to make this exhibition possible. “We are super thankful that the Michigan Space Institute, ArtsEngine, and OSA were willing to support this event!” wrote Owen Marr.More on the competition and photos of all the submissions can be found here.