Astronaut John Shoffner Hosts Student Art Competition from Space

Astronaut John Shoffner Hosts Student Art Competition from Space

HOUSTON, March 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Student creativity will reach new heights as Axiom Space Ax-2 Pilot, John Shoffner hosts The International Space Art and Poetry Contest live from the International Space Station this Spring.

Shoffner is a life-long space enthusiast. At 8-years-old, he formed a young astronauts club with his friends in his hometown of Middlesboro, Kentucky. While space was his first passion, it didn’t make for a widely accepted career, so he took a more traditional route. Despite finding success in the fiber optic telecommunications industry, John’s wild ambition to become an astronaut never escaped him. In fact, he held onto a painting he created at 10 years old of an astronaut floating in space.

Little did he know that painting would later accompany him to the ISS and inspire a global art contest. Now, John is asking students ages 5-18, “What would it look like if we lived in space?” With the help of a teacher or guardian, participants are encouraged to submit their most creative drawings, paintings, or poetry to

Submissions will be categorized by age divisions (5-8, 9-13, 14-18) and by genre (visual art and poetry). Students from around the world will have the chance to showcase vivid color and curiosity as they take us on a journey into space as they envision it. Two representatives from each age division, one art and one poetry, will receive special recognition LIVE from the ISS on Axiom’s Ax-2 mission.

The contest is hosted in collaboration with Crayola Experience, Limitless Space Institute and MIT Space Exploration Initiative, and will be judged by Peggy Whitson (NASA Icon and Ax-2 Commander), Kaci Heins (Limitless Space Institute Education Director), Monique Lorden (Visual Artist and Poet), Ariel Ekblaw (Director, MIT Space Exploration Initiative), and John Shoffner (Ax-2 Pilot and Project Visionary). Submissions are open now and close on April 17.  

John’s story is one that proves dreams never fade and creativity knows no limits. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Nicole Swickle, [email protected]

SOURCE The International Space Art and Poetry Contest

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