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To the Moon and Beyond: Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Art, Science, and Exploration

Providence and WaterFire celebrated the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and man’s first steps on the Moon which was co-sponsored by the NASA RI Space Consortium with support from Brown University. The celebration included a series of exhibitions, lectures and other activities throughout July 2019 and there was a full lighting of WaterFire on July 20th presented as part of WaterFire’s #Art4Impact Summer of Science Event Series.

WaterFire Arts Center “Museum of the Moon”  by Luke Jerram Exhibition held in July 2019

“Museum of the Moon,” is an enormous art installation by English artist Luke Jerram, which is a highly-detailed 23’ diameter Moon that came to Providence July as part of a larger series of events and exhibitions presented by the NASA RI Space Consortium in association with WaterFire Providence. The large Moon sculpture was installed in the main hall of the WaterFire Arts Center at 475 Valley Street.

Over its lifetime, the “Museum of the Moon” installations (there were 10 moons on tour at that time!) had traveled to 25 countries and was presented in a number of different ways; in cathedrals, on city streets, and hanging above pools. As it traveled from place to place, it gathered new musical compositions and an ongoing collection of personal responses, stories, and mythologies, as well as highlighted the latest moon science.

FAQ’s by Artist Luke Jerram.

In July 2019 the WaterFire Arts Center held a series of special events and lectures.

Artist Luke Jerram

Adjacent galleries at the WaterFire Arts Center featured NASA photographs, and NASA-related art works.

In July 2019, in addition to Luke Jerram’s “Museum of The Moon” exhibit, there were three displays including “Milky Way” a mural by John Sabraw and the Aspect Collective, “The Overview Effect” paintings by Rhode Island artist Jeremy Schilling, and LivableRI Posters Campaign by Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island. “Milky Way” which was on display in the main hall, is an interdisciplinary multimedia, interactive experience of art, science, and technology that explores and examines issues of scale-from molecular to the astronomical. “The Overview Effect” which was on display in the visitor center, focuses on astronauts, gravity and space. The LivableRI Posters Campaign which was on display on movable walls throughout the space; the posters focus on artwork that would convey the messages of urgency to combat the threat of global warming and climate change echoing the WW1 Food Administration posters. These displays were apart of a larger series of events and exhibitions throughout Rhode Island in July 2019, as part of WaterFire’s Summer of Science #Art4Impact Event Series. The July 20th WaterFire event was marked the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the Moon with the Apollo 11 mission on July 20th, 1969 and celebrate RI’s involvement in space exploration.

John Sabraw –  “Milky Way,” an 85’ long charcoal drawing, was the brainchild of Assistant Professor John Sabraw and was created with the Aspect Collective—a cooperative group of students, artists, scientists, and visionaries.

Jeremy Schilling – Jeremy’s series “The Overview Effect,” focuses on astronauts and space, specifically exploring the concept of the space suit and how it acts as a shield between a person and their environment.

Liveable RI offers a series of 25 graphic posters about the many helpful citizen environmental responses created by the RI nonprofit.  The series is a guide “by Rhode Islanders, for Rhode Islanders” on how to reduce our contributions to climate change, build relationships with each other and with our environment, and make Rhode Island more livable for all of us.

A replica of the Apollo 11 Command Module made by students of the Warwick Area Career Technical Center will be on display at the WaterFire Arts Center  and at the WaterFire event on July 20th. Earlier that day the Command Module will be featured in the Conimicut Village Association’s 50th Anniversary Moon Landing Parade.

Under the Moon
Morning Movement Classes  were held at the WaterFire Arts Center

RI Yoga studios, Tai Chi teachers, and Conscious Dance practitioners offered the opportunity to experience movement under the Moon with public classes and movement sessions many mornings during the exhibition.

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

5 thoughts on “To the Moon and Beyond: Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Art, Science, and Exploration”

  1. Me and some other friends would love to take the yoga class… wish there was a weekend schedule as well.. the times available are times most people are working their first shift lol. By the way the exhibit was amazing

      1. I think the class schedule is determined by when the instructors are available. I’m not sure that we (WaterFire) have a lot of control over that schedule, but I will see if we can get this message over to the team at Providence Power Yoga.

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