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To the Moon and Beyond: A month long series of presentations kicks off at the WaterFire Arts Center



To the Moon and Beyond, a series of events planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing on July 20, kicked off Monday evening with the opening reception for “Museum of the Moon,” an enormous art installation by English artist Luke Jerram, a highly-detailed 23′ diameter illuminated Moon hanging in the main hall of the WaterFire Arts Center.

But the giant (miniature?) moon wasn’t the only art display.

There was John Sabroaw‘s “Milky Way,” an “all encompassing accurate mural depicting our home galaxy based on imagery from NASA.” The mural is gigantic, and as astronaut David Bowman once said about an alien monolith found in orbit around Jupiter, “It’s full of stars.”

Artist Jeremy Schilling presented a series of paintings focusing 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.”

There was also the “Livable Rhode Island Poster Campaign,” a series of posters delivering urgent messages “to combat the threat of global warming and climate change echoing the WWI Food Administration posters.”

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Then there was the “living statue” of Galileo Galilei, the “father of observational astronomy.”

On top of all this, there was a preview performance of Judith Lynn Stillman‘s “SMALL STEP, GIANT LEAP: A Lunar Fantasy,” a new, “multimedia chamber music work with live music, projected images, and spoken word, that takes the audience on a metaphoric, arts-filled Apollo 11 journey from launch to landing. The piece includes poetic and musical lunar references, from centuries-old moon musings to the message of peace that resonates today and forever.”

The evening ended with Carter Emmart‘s presentation “Seeing the Moon and Mars as Landscape.” Enmart “heads up development of an interactive 3D atlas called The Digital Universe. He coordinates scientists, programmers and artists to produce scientifically accurate yet visually stunning and immersive space experiences in the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium.”

Enmart’s presentation brought viewers to explored and unexplored regions of the Moon and Mars, giving his audience some small idea of what the surfaces of both destinations are like for past and future explorers.

Here’s video of Barnaby Evans, creator of WaterFire, introducing the program. There are events planned throughout July.

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Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.