MIAMI, Florida – When four civilian astronauts flew into orbital space on Inspiration4 in September, the goal was to inspire people, young and old, around the world.
But long before these four ventured into space, one was inspired by an artist who grew up in the Melbourne and Palm Bay areas.
What would you like to know
- Jonlouis Gonzalez’s works flew during the Inspiration4 mission in September
- Gonzalez met Dr Sian Proctor, another artist, at a KSC Visitor Center event in 2019
- Proctor took Gonzalez’s art to space and unveiled it during the flight
- The auction for one of these pieces ends at 4:06 p.m. Wednesday
- Profits will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
“I’ve been inspired by space my whole life, you know, and now I’m just trying to bring meaning and the same wonder to people,” artist Jonlouis Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez, who took inspiration from one of his elementary school teachers and watching the launches at Brevard, goes back and forth between his home on the Space Coast and his apartment-studio hybrid in Miami. He is now preparing for one of the biggest art exhibitions of the year, Art Basel, in early December.
Gonzalez met Dr. Sian Proctor in 2019 when she noticed his art hanging at Yuri’s Night Space Coast Party at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It is an annual event in honor of Yuri Gagarin, the first person to orbit the Earth on April 12, 1961.
The other two space artists kept in touch for the next two years, then Proctor sent Gonzalez a message that blew him away:
“Hey Jon, I love your work. It was a day, if you wanted to do a little 8×10 piece of art, I can take it to space with me.
“So we sent the pieces out on little canvases and the rest is history,” Gonzalez said.
True to his word, Proctor unveiled the art while flying aboard their Crew Dragon spacecraft and photographed them floating in microgravity.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be one of those artists who has succeeded in achieving this goal,” said Gonzalez. “For me as a person, I always wonder how can I exceed my goals or how can I achieve my next experience. It’s like how do you get your art to go into space? “
With this art now safely back on Earth, one of the pieces, Embrace II, is being auctioned off with the proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. On Tuesday night, the highest bid was $ 10,500.
Gonzalez said it was not only an amazing experience to see his work float in space, but also to benefit those fighting cancer here on Earth.
“Having a mother with cancer and being a kid watching her suffer, I can’t imagine what it’s like for a parent to see their kids go through the same feeling, you know, that helplessness, you know? Said Gonzalez. “So I’m really blessed and honored, and it was a God-given opportunity to be a messenger, but also to be here to help these kinds of causes. So I’m blessed, man. It’s a great feeling.
He said he will continue to work with different artistic mediums and hopes that no matter where he turns next, it will continue to inspire people, including those on the Space Coast. He said he hopes to open an art gallery there in the coming months.
The auction for Embrace II will close on Wednesday at 4:06 p.m. EST.