July 23, 2001

CONTACT: Ward Mullens



EDITOR'S NOTE: Samples of the artwork from the exhibit are available on request





YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University is sponsoring Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, as part of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Aug. 17-19.

America's museum in motion will present its exhibition, Artistry of Space, featuring artworks from NASA and the National Air and Space Museum art collections. Artrain USA is open for public viewing Aug. 17 and 18, noon.-7 p.m.; and Aug. 19, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the tracks near the Freighthouse in Depot Town. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

Artrain USA's national tour is sponsored by DaimlerChysler. The 30th Anniversary Michigan State Tour sponsors are Consumers Energy, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Association of Community Art Agencies, and RailAmerica.

Artistry of Space is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches that reflect the excitement and energy of space exploration. Since the inception of NASA's Art Program in 1962, NASA has invited more than 250 American artists to be involved in the U.S. space programs and to interpret space flight through art. In a creative melding of art and space, the artists, responding to space exploration on emotional and spiritual levels, documented the work of engineers, astronauts, and scientists. From the excitement of the initial effort to put a man on the moon to recent endeavors such as the Mars Pathfinder mission and the Hubble Space Telescope, artists including Peter Max, Robert McCall, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and James Wyeth have captured the spirit of space exploration.

Works by area artists also will be on display.

"The Artistry of Space exhibition is exciting, because it touches all generations and gives us the opportunity to bring museum art to the nation, while incorporating the relationship of art to science and technology," said Debra Polich, President and CEO of Artrain USA. "Artrain USA is about touching lives and opening doors for people and communities. For some children and adults, it's the first time they have had the experience of visiting an art museum."

"Eastern Michigan University is pleased to sponsor this exciting and educational visit by Artrain. We believe this is a positive addition to the Heritage Festival and look forward to the many visitors who will tour the exhibit," said Rita Abent, executive director of marketing and communications for EMU.

Artrain USA's mission is to enhance lives and build communities. Artrain USA fulfills its mission by bringing visual art exhibitions and programs directly to communities that do not have access to museums or collections. As a powerful catalyst, Artrain USA sparks the formation of local and regional arts councils, bolsters art education programs and community pride, and spurs downtown and depot renovations. Artrain USA has traveled to 44 states and the District of Columbia, delighting more than 2.76 million visitors since its first stop in 1971.

Eastern Michigan University ( is a four-year, comprehensive metropolitan university committed to the needs of its students and communities through teaching, research and service. EMU offers more than 200 programs in the arts, sciences and professions through traditional classroom settings, on-site continuing education classes and online courses. EMU is the fifth largest university in Michigan, serving 24,000 students from around the world and offers undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate programs.