2019 Honorable Mention – Natalia Martinez

Nebula I

My piece is an homage to the various nebulas, individual stars, and constellations that decorate our universe. Their awe-inspiring colors have been a recent discovery of this past century, and have often left people breathless with their beauty. When one thinks of space, there are an endless number of questions that pop up, such as “Are we alone in the universe”? I hope that my art helps to inspire people to learn more about space, and to continue to unlock all the secrets that our universe holds.

My specific inspiration for the creation of my art piece was the horsehead nebula. Otherwise known as Barnard 33, the horsehead nebula is a dark nebula in the Orion constellation. It existence was first discovered in 1888 by a scottish female astronomer, Williamina Fleming, in at the Harvard College Observatory, an achievement that was shocking during its time due to the nebula being 1500 light years away from earth.

By using this specific nebula as my artistic inspiration, I also hope to highlight the presence of notable women in STEM who have often been ignored or belittled by their male counterparts simply for their gender identity. As a women in STEM myself, I have personally known the struggles faced by women when they enter a field that did not traditionally include them. That is why I turn to space, the final frontier, as further inspiration of a better life not just on earth, but in the rest of the universe as well.