AIAA and IAAA at the SPACE 2016 Forum and Exposition

 In Art Show

By Michelle Rouch and Aldo Spadoni
Photograph credits : AIAA

Spadoni, Rouch, & Pestana at SPACE 2016

Spadoni, Rouch, & Pestana at SPACE 2016

During the week of September 12-16, 2016, the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) put on an art show at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SPACE 2016 Forum and Exposition, held at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California. The AIAA SPACE 2016 brings together Space industry and government leaders as well as the broader space community.

The event is focused on policy and management issues as well as a strong technical program featuring technical paper presentations on space operations, space systems, space history, space transportation, space and Earth science, space exploration, and many other topics. This collaboration was a first for the IAAA and AIAA, after several years of hard work. Participating artists, who are also AIAA Professional members included Mark Pestana, Michelle Rouch, and Aldo Spadoni.

AIAA hosted IAAA with a booth placed in the high traffic zone in the Exposition Hall nestled between the cool NASA/JPL Juno display and a dynamic group from University of California, San Diego students, who recently demonstrated a successful liquid fueled rocket launch using a 3-D printed rocket engine. Like the International Space Station, the artists utilized every inch of space, transforming the 10’x10’ booth into the finest Aerospace Art Exhibition.

Aerospace Art Exhibition at AIAA SPACE 2016

Aerospace Art Exhibition at AIAA SPACE 2016

The art show stopped people in their tracks, dazzling them with a display that they have never seen at an AIAA Conference before. It was a hit! There were many interested visitors from across the space community. People commented on the uniqueness of the display compared to more traditional aerospace industry exhibits. VIP visitors NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who worked with Mark Pestana, and AIAA Executive Director Sandy Magnus enjoyed the display.

Rouch interfaces with Advanced Science Engineering Program students from Fairmont High School

Rouch interfaces with Advanced Science
Engineering Program students
from Fairmont High School

The artists were visited by a few local high school students, giving an opportunity to engage in conversation of STEAM outreach perspective. An evening reception and luncheons were held in the same area as the Exposition, providing the booth and artists with considerable amount of foot traffic and networking opportunities.

During the conference Michelle Rouch was the Session Chair for Space History and also presented a talk on AIAA STEAM outreach activities at Comic Con, explaining that the imagination of Science Fiction pushes engineering to the edge of technology.

Overall, the art exhibit was well received by the AIAA attendees and provided a captive audience of space-oriented professionals, who appreciated the aerospace art genre. Charles Vono offers a comment, “I look forward to seeing more art like Michelle Rouch’s at future AIAA conferences. The best engineers are those who voraciously seek knowledge and experiences far afield from their college degrees.” The artists want to extend a special thanks to Steve Justice for working with AIAA to facilitate this event. The artists look forward to future collaboration between the AIAA and the IAAA!

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