Artistry of Space is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches on loan from the National Air and Space Museum and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration art collections. Artists such as Deborah Deschner Iazzo, Peter Hurd, Pamela Lee, Norman Rockwell, and James Wyeth have followed the work of the astronauts, engineers, and scientists who put a man on the moon and a probe on Mars.
NASA ARTIST DEBORAH DESCHNER IAZZO
THE DEMONSTRATING ARTISTS
Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, brings the Artistry of Space collection to St Albans' Railroad Days Festival in November.
Franklin County, Vermont artists will also be featured in a major gallery exhibit and as they demonstrate aboard the Artrain. The AAC Annual Fine Art Exhibit brings additional oil and watercolor paintings, digital art, photography, and sculpture to Railroad Days. The gallery will also have special focus tables highlight artists in the Northern Vermont Arts Association and the work of young artists in the area.
Corliss Blakely, Bob Brodeur, Diana Herder Bennett, Mary Harper, Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, and Ania Modzelewski are some of the featured AAC artists. Alice Astleford and Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard will join Deschner Iazzo to demonstrate artistic technique aboard the Artrain. Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex is showcased in both exhibits. From a one-woman show at the Pen and Pallet Gallery, to the NASA art team, to Ringling's international exhibit "Reaching Toward Space," to several exhibitions at the Ritter Gallery in Florida, artist and psychologist Deborah Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex has used etchings, collages, multimedia, and pure form to create meaningful images that blend realism with symbolism.
NASA first commissioned Deschner Iazzo to cover Mission 51-L, the ill-fated flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, for the NASA art program. She was selected for the art team as the program moved from realism into emotionally expressive art. Her works "tend to be less representational and symbolic," she said. The resulting Challenger artwork is a tasteful, effective series on permanent display at the NASA Art Gallery at Kennedy Space Center.
Following the Teacher in Space program, the Civilians in Space program was to include journalists and artists. She had a strong bid because NASA prefers every astronaut to be multifunctional; her PhD in Psychology would have allowed her to go as a Mission Specialist as well as an artist.
"I wanted to do an art project I had designed using weightless paint blobs inside different shaped cylinders," she said. "There was a recognition [on NASA's part] that the collection could and should include many different styles of expression of what it means to be in space."
She views the NASA art collection as a combination of real art and beautiful illustration.
"It's ironic because ['Belly of the Bird'] is one of the more realistic, representational pieces of my work, and yet I feel I did it in a way that could almost trick you and that you don't know what it is."
Belly of the Bird, a closeup look at the ablative tiles of the Space Shuttle Columbia, is one exhibit in the Artrain. Reentry heat created the subtle patterns on these protective pieces. "The tiles are this wonderful blanket that wraps the Shuttle and holds it in safety," she said. "The patterns are extraordinary."
The paintings, drawings, prints, and sketches in the exhibit capture the excitement and energy of crafting the space vehicles as well as of space exploration for the Railroad Days Festival in St Albans, Vermont.
"I had the honor and privilege to spend four days, me by myself, inside the VAB [Vehicle Assembly Building]. It's a huge, huge thing which I have" portrayed many times. She was in that amazing space with the Shuttle Columbia. "My work in the VAB was so formative for me because a lot of my artwork after that was about the VAB not about the Shuttle or about space itself, but the building that went into the creation of the Shuttle and of the other space vehicles."
She worked so intensely in the VAB that it became her major focus.
"It's such an experience to be in the inner sanctum, [to] spend four consecutive days just being loose in the building. That kind of access was one of the high points of my career, my life."
The great-granddaughter of world-renowned architect, etcher, and author George T. Plowman, Deschner Iazzo studied intaglio and oil painting in Athens, Greece. She followed up that artistic training by studying the emotional meaning of shapes while pursuing a PhD in Psychology. She created the Diagnostic Drawing Test. Deschner Iazzo's artistic emphasis is on experimental etchings, collages, and mixed media. She creates images related to the space program, childbirth, Russia, and mangrove trees.
DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad is transporting Artrain to St Albans. Thanks to generous grants from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism and the City of St Albans, and the support of Northwestern Medical Center; Comfort Inn and Suites; Franklin Lamoille Bank; New England Central Railroad; Drummac, Inc; S. B. Collins, Clarence Brown, and Ultramar, admission to most Railroad Days events is free.
Dick Harper, Chair
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