May 17, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Palm Bay artist’s painting that orbited Earth aboard SpaceX Inspiration4 mission

5 min read

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As a budding young artist at Riviera Elementary in Palm Bay, Jonlouis Gonzalez remembers going outside to the kickball field to watch rocket and space shuttle launches streak across the sky from Cape Canaveral.

Now 27, Gonzalez is an established “space art” fixture in Miami’s contemporary art scene. And one of his colorful paintings featuring two dancing astronauts flew into orbit aboard Inspiration4, SpaceX’s historic all-civilian orbital mission in September.

Gonzalez’s painting, “Embrace II,” is among a variety of Inspiration4 flown-in-space items placed on the auction block Monday morning by Charitybuzz. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I think it’s a really immense feeling. Because our whole career is really based on creating impact. And to have this moment of worldwide impact is getting closer to our goal — we want to touch as many people as we can with our art,” Gonzalez said.

“It’s also opening my eyes to how far I can really take this,” he said.

“I look at this moment, and I embrace it. But then I look further beyond as well, like what can we do next?” he said.

Inspiration4 astronaut Sian Proctor floats in orbit alongside two of Palm Bay artist Jonlouis Gonzalez's paintings in September.

More:‘Just so awe-inspiring’: Inspiration4 crew members say historic space mission changed them

More:Netflix docuseries offers inside look at Inspiration4 crew’s journey from citizens to space tourists

The painting’s estimated value is $2,500, and the 10-day online auction ends Nov. 10.

Inspiration4 took flight on Sept. 15 from Kennedy Space Center pad 39A with an all-civilian crew: billionaire and mission commander Jared Isaacman; Sian Proctor, who became the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft; St. Jude’s physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux; and Lockheed Martin engineer Chris Sembroski.

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