Mars has beckoned for centuries, inspiring mythology, science fiction and now an International Space Art Contest. The Planetary Society invites participants of all ages worldwide to draw what Mars would look like if one were standing on the planet's surface.
The contest is held in conjunction with The Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars Training Mission where Student Scientists are to select a suitable landing site on Mars to which Earth might one day send a Mars sample return mission. Art contest entrants must depict what such a landing site on Mars for a robotic spacecraft might look like at ground level -- both now and a century hence.
"The art contest reminds us that planetary exploration isn't just for 'rocket scientists.' People of all ages who are imaginative and artistically inclined can participate," said Linda Kelly, Education Manager of the Red Rover Goes to Mars project.
Contest entries must be done by hand -- no computers allowed -- and may be drawn, painted, or otherwise artistically depicted in a two-dimensional image (no sculptures). Participants must imagine a suitable landing site for a sample return mission that could be sent to Mars in the near future. Artists can depict a spacecraft in the picture, but it is not required. A second illustration of the same ite in one hundred years must also be submitted, as well as a brief written description of the drawings.
Winners will be selected in three age categories: 10 and under, 11 to 18, and over 18 years of age. Artwork will be judged on creativity, knowledge of Mars, and artistic merit.
The deadline for submissions is April 2, 2001. Entries must be submitted to Red Rover Goes to Mars Regional and National Centers. A list of Regional and National Centers and complete rules for entry are available at the Society's website or by writing to International Space Art Contest, c/o The Planetary Society, 65 N Catalina Avenue, Pasadena, California, USA 91106.
The number of national finalists and special merit honorable mention winners will depend on the number and quality of the entries received. International first, second and third place winners will be selected in each age category. The best art from each nation will also receive recognition. Winning artwork will be included on a CD-ROM and displayed at prominent space science institutions around the world. Other prizes include gift certificates, memberships in the Planetary Society, and more.
The artwork by the three first prize winners (one from each age category) will be posted on The Planetary Society's website in August 2001 for the public to vote for their favorite Mars terrain picture. Their votes will determine the Grand Prize winner whose art will be featured on the cover of the International Space Art Contest CD-ROM.