Our Fragile Home: Pat Musick

November 1, 2013 - February 9, 2014

Click here for a slideshow of selected images from this exhibit.
Click here to watch a video about this exhibit on Vimeo.
Click here to hear an oral history of Pat Musick’s life as an artist.

In 1990 the United Nation invited 40 astronauts and cosmonauts to attend the Earth Day celebration in the General Assembly. Jerry Carr, my husband, now my working partner and engineer, was one of the astronauts. I attended with my daughter Cathy and granddaughters Caryn and Wendy.

The astronauts and cosmonauts gathered offstage where six of them, all from different countries, were selected to address the audience in their own native language and describe what had been their strongest impression looking back at the earth from space. They represented the United States, France, Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.

Out in the audience the girls and I put on our simultaneous translation headsets and listened to the six different languages, but on stage the astronuats and cosmonauts, who did not have headsets, understood only their own language. Mary Cleave spoke in English and talked about how she was struck by the fragility of the earth and its thin layer of atmosphere. She said that we all need to be good stewards of our earth, to protect and sustain and care for the environment.

When the discussion was over Jerry came down into the audience and asked, “What did they say?” I replied, “You’re not going to believe this, but they all said the SAME thing. They all used the words, ‘fragile’, ‘protect’, ‘sustain’, nurture’.” Although none of the speakers knew in advance what the others would say, their words described a common vision based upon the experience of stepping outside the world and SEEING new perspective, seeing our fragile home.

This exhibit portrays that experience.

— Pat Musick