Press Conference to Open an Out of this World Art Exhibit, Alan Bean: First Artist to Visit Another

Oct 01, 2008

(Austin) - Slip inside the boots that took a giant leap for mankind and discover the mystery of the moon through Alan Bean's artistic vision of space exploration. These paintings are created by the first artist, first Texan, and first University of Texas graduate to experience another world and return to paint his sights and feelings.

Wednesday, October 1, at 10:00 a.m., Apollo XII astronaut and artist Alan Bean will open a new art show, Alan Bean: First Artist to Visit Another World. This press event will give reporters the rare opportunity to talk to Captain Bean about his experiences as one of only twelve men to walk on the moon and how he creates his paintings.

I create paintings that depict one of the great adventures of humankind as only an insider sees it. - Alan Bean

Captain Bean's background as an astronaut brings a unique perspective to his work. The paintings featured in the art show contain material from the Command Module heat shield that was charred with the 5000 degree heat of reentry, fragments of the foil insulation from the hatch leading to the Lunar Module, and small pieces cut from the emblems worn on his space suit that were embedded with moondust as he explored the Oceans of Storms.

Before he begins a painting, Alan Bean creates a moonwalking texture using moonboots, the actual hammer he used to break off small rock fragments and drive in the lower section of the flagstaff on the moon, and a circular core tube bit that he drove two meters into the Lunar surface.

The date of Alan Bean's Art Exhibition is significant: October 1 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of NASA. In 1958, Senator Lyndon Johnson co-sponsored the bill that created the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). When LBJ became President in 1963, he continued to support the organization and its progressive strides.

Alan Bean is a native Texan and attended The University of Texas at Austin on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (NROTC) scholarship. After graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, he reported to flight training. When he received his wings, he was assigned as a carrier pilot to a jet squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida. After his three year tour, he was selected to attend the Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. It was there, while flying and testing the Navy's newest aircraft during the day, that he enrolled in his first art class at night at St. Mary's University.

In 1969, as the Lunar Module pilot of Apollo XII, Captain Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. In 1973, he was Commander of Skylab Mission II (SL-3) and spent, at that time, a record-breaking 59 days orbiting the Earth.

In 1981, astronaut Bean resigned from NASA to find a way to create paintings that celebrate one of the great accomplishments of human history, leaving our planet earth for the first time to journey to another world, the surface of the moon.

For the last 27 years artist Alan Bean has been busy creating a body of work that captures the spirit of Apollo, paintings of what humans experience when we first visit a world other than our own. These are images and stories that tell of the incredible adventures and accomplishments made possible by the 400,000 Americans who worked to make these first voyages into the universe a reality.

"Each [of his paintings] is an eyewitness account of the first human explorations of another celestial body. They are really art 'off this world'." - Ulrich Lotzmann, Artist

In October, 2005, Alan Bean was awarded the Butler Institute's Medal for Life Achievements in the Arts. His home and studio are in Houston, Texas.

Alan Bean's art show compliments the LBJ Library's current exhibit on space, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s. This exhibit celebrates LBJ's Centennial and NASA's 50th anniversary.

Alan Bean's paintings will be on display at the LBJ Library until April 25, 2009. Free Parking & Admission.