Art from Elmira is going to the moon

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Michelle Buchanan, an oil painter who lives in Elmira, will have one of her portraits in a time capsule sent to the moon this summer.

Coordinated by Dr. Samuel Peralta, the Artists on the Moon project is joining NASA’s scientific payloads on Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One, the first commercial launch in history.

The capsule will contain art from The Peregrine Collection – an assembly of thousands of creative works by over 1,200 artists worldwide.

Included in this capsule will be a magazine from “Poets and Artists” with Buchanan’s portrait.

The painting depicts one of her favorite artists, Richard Frost.

Buchanan explained the reasoning behind the project.

“I think there’s several different reasons that he coordinated this project,” said Buchanan. “One of them, I believe is in hopes that future travelers will find these capsules someday and be able to look back at this time and see the richness of creativity that we had as human beings on Earth during this period in history.”

She hopes that this launch brings a glimmer of hope to people.

“There’s so many negative things going on,” said Buchanan. “This is something that we can literally look up to the sky and find some hope in.”

The moon has a deeper meaning for her as well.

“I always see the moon as a symbol of strength and love,” said Buchanan. “I always say to my kids, ‘I love you to the moon and back’… it has a little bit more of a magical feel to it.”

While this will be the first commercial launch to the moon, it will also be another first.

“It will be the first women’s art that lands on the moon which is pretty exciting,” said Buchanan.

The launch is scheduled for July 2021.

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