Moon Shots: The Art of Pat Rawlings

Apr 28, 2009

Rawlings donates an original painting to the LBJ Library

(Austin) - What will the future of space exploration look like? Pat Rawlings, the featured artist at the LBJ Library, will show us that space exploration may be very different from what we currently know and imagine. On May 15, 2009, the LBJ Library opened an exhibit featuring his interpretations of future space events, giving viewers a sense of being on the journey through images based on scientific and technical themes that appeal to both rocket scientists and regular folks.

Rawlings, who lives in Austin, is a space artist producing artwork for NASA in Houston. As a space artist, he imagines and paints pictures of future space adventures while combining scientific and technical skills with the creative genius of a story teller.

As part of the exhibit, Rawlings is painting a piece specifically about Lyndon Johnson's drive to bring electricity to rural Texas. He includes Johnson's support for NASA and the Apollo program. Entitled "Hill Country Lights," Rawlings will donate this original work to the LBJ Library.

"Since moving from Houston three years ago, I've been struck with the beauty of the Hill Country and wanted to try and capture it in a picture that had a sense of history as well," said Rawlings. "LBJ is strongly implied by a foreground figure holding his trademark hat and wearing his boots. A full moon floats in a starry sky above the Pedernales River valley below."

When Rawlings was a senior in high school, he shook hands with President Johnson at a fundraiser. It is appropriate that during the LBJ Centennial celebration the Library features an artist who has strong connections to LBJ and the Johnson Space Center.