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    Posted January 28, 2011 by
    Orlando, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN30: Challenger Explosion

    NASA Painting inspired by Challenger


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     DWJarvis says the painting, created with oil paints, is a symbolic image of mankind watching NASA travel towards the unknown. This is an original image created by DWJarvis, and he submitted it to iReport in memory of Challenger's anniversary.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I was living in Cocoa Beach for the Launch of the Challenger Shuttle. As a local resident, I was focused on the launch of STS-51-L (I had a good view of the nearby launches from my balcony on the Banana River). Also, this launch was memorable for having the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, as well as payload specialist Gregory Jarvis (no relation to me).


    I was shocked and horrified. Dumbfounded, in fact, to witness the failed Launch. Seeing the families filmed live witnessing the tragedy was heartbreaking.


    It was three years later that I had the honor of being appointed to the art documentation team for STS 32 Launch.


    The deeply moving experience of the Challenger launch affected the creative expression of my art contribution. I could have easily created a traditional painting of the astronauts suiting up from my photos or many others taken during our up-close and personal viewing of the pre-launch activities. I chose to paint a more symbolic expression of Man’s exploration of space.


    My painting, "Eye of the Launch", was my heartfelt, best effort to make a statement about man’s heroic ventures into the unknown, and the enormous bravery, skill and capability of those attempting and accomplishing these amazing feats. The painting is in the NASA Permanent Art Collection and is currently on display at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.


    My statement accompanying the painting:

    “Mankind has long gazed upward with fascination and wonder into deep space. For millennia we have been measuring, mapping, calculating and reaching conclusions based upon celestial bodies and cycles. Only recently in modern man’s history have a few brave souls dared to venture beyond Earth’s atmosphere. The shuttle is a triumph of spirit and technology in our never-ending search into the mysteries and intelligence of the Universe."


    For more on this painting, you can visit: http://www.davidjarvisprints.com/ArtWorld/detail_eye.htm


    David Wesley Jarvis, Orlando

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