Tavonatti’s art reaches the moon

MIA TAVONATTI (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

Mia Tavonatti, an Iron Mountain native who has created numerous murals in the Upper Peninsula, is represented in the Nova Collection time capsule that landed on the moon Thursday.

“WooHoo!!” Tavonatti posted on her Facebook page after the first U.S. landing in half a century.

The Nova Collection is one of four capsules included in the Lunar Codex, a project that will send art, poetry, film and other creative works to the moon in tandem with NASA’s Artemis missions.

The works have been digitized on memory cards or transferred onto nickel-based NanoFiche, a film technology that preserves large amounts of analog information in a microscopic size, according to artnet.com.

Tavonatti’s mosaic “Whales,” which is now the first mosaic archived on the moon, and her painting “Migrazione” are in the payload on the lander Odysseus. The spacecraft was built by Houston company Intuitive Machines in cooperation with NASA.

“I’m over the moon with excitement!” Tavonatti said in April 2021 after learning her creations would be included.

The Lunar Codex was founded by semiretired physicist Samuel Peralta. The project aims to include the work of 30,000 creatives from 157 countries. It focuses on contemporary artists but charges them nothing for inclusion.

After winning the 2011 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Tavonatti channeled the $250,000 reward into the Power of Words project as a part of her Svelata Foundation. Power of Words resulted in murals being created throughout the U.P., including five in Iron Mountain.

Residing in Santa Ana, Calif., Tavonatti has taught painting at Laguna College of Art and Design for 19 years. She creates glass mosaics, paintings and murals.


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