Outer space and art on tap at SMoW, Taliesin West

Scottsdale Artists’ School students, Brooklynn Fallon and Lydia Eaton, study Paul Calle’s “The Great Moment,” an 8-foot wide painting depicting Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which took place July 20, 1969, two notable events will be held in Scottsdale.

 Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW) will host an exclusive screening of Smithsonian Channel documentary “The Day We Walked on the Moon.”

Though not directly related to the anniversary, Taliesin West invites fifth to eighth grade students to participate in session two of its Designing for Mars camp. A former NASA employee will meet with the campers at the event, slated July 29-Aug. 2.

SMoW exhibition

 “The Day We Walked on the Moon” is a minute-by-minute story of the first moon landing told from the perspective of key figures in and around the Apollo 11 mission. 

 SMoW is one of more than 50 Smithsonian-affiliated museums in the country airing the documentary, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on July 20 in SMoW’s Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater. The documentary will continue to screen every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. through August. 

Museum admission is required and includes the full museum tour featuring SMoW’s exclusive exhibition “Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon.”

That exhibition was created specifically to celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary and features artwork by official NASA artist Paul Calle, the only artist present during the pre-launch activities of the Apollo 11. 

Tricia Loscher, assistant director of collections, exhibitions and research at SMoW, said, “Paul Calle was an important realist artist and his artworks feature intricate details that interpret — as well as expertly document — America’s great historic achievements, while aiding viewers in the enjoyment of his work.”

Chris Calle said he is honored to share his father’s legacy and “showcase the stories told through my father’s artwork in such a manner ensures that his passion, skill and love of the history of our country are carried on and told to a broad, multi-generation audience,” Chris said.

D-Backs game

The Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers game on July 20 has been designated "Space Day" at Chase Field.

At the celebration of Apollo 11’s 50th at Chase Field, fans will have the opportunity to step into a larger-than-life photo opp called "Walk on the Moon with Neil Armstrong."

SMoW recreated "The Great Moment," a powerful artwork by the late official NASA artist Paul Calle, to a larger-than-life size at 20-feet wide and 9-feet high versus its original 8-foot-wide size.

Photo sharing will be promoted with the hashtags #Apollo50 and #DbacksSpaceDay, and the first 20,000 fans to the game will receive a bobblehead featuring a player styled as an astronaut.

The bobblehead was unveiled on the Diamondbacks' Facebook page on July 10.

The game starts at 5:10 p.m.

Taliesin West camp

The Designing for Mars camp gives participants a chance to study the planet while collaboratively tackling the challenges of traveling to and living on Mars.

“Students will learn about Wright’s futuristic concept of Broadacre City, as they investigate how to create a new community that meets their needs for food, water, power and shelter,” the website states. 

As a NASA museum alliance partner, Taliesin West’s camp will also feature a former NASA employee, who will meet with the campers for a discussion on said topics.

Students also will create a 3-D model of their new colony on Mars.

The camp costs $350 per student, or $315 for Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members.