SpaceArtContest Landing

INTERNATIONAL Space Art & Poetry Contest


Presented by Axiom-2 Pilot John Shoffner LIVE from the International Space Station
In partnership with:



What would it look like to live in space?


Let your imagination soar! Have you ever looked at the stars and wondered what it’s like up there? We want to see your drawing, painting or written poetry showcasing what it would look like if we lived in space!



5 – 8

9 – 13

14 – 18

US and international students are welcome.

All entries are due by midnight Universal time (UTC) April 17th, 2023

Two representatives from each age division (1) one art and (1) poetry will be presented from space by John Shoffner during his Axiom-2 mission!



Meet the Judges

John Shoffner

Axiom-2 Pilot and Contest Visionary

Peggy Whitson

Axiom-2 Commander, former NASA Chief Astronaut

Kaci Heins

Director of Education at Limitless Space Institute

Monique Lorden

Visual Artist, Poet and Published Author

Ariel Ekblaw

Director and Founder at MIT Space Exploration Initiative

About the Astronaut

Axiom-2 Pilot John Shoffner

STE(A)M advocate and business pioneer John 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 in its earliest stages, 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 International Space Station (ISS) and inspire a global art contest. 


Now, John will serve as Pilot for Axiom’s Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station on the SpaceX Dragon in May. His goal is to return from space with the tools to form a STE(A)M-based curriculum that connects the classroom to the real world through collaboration, problem solving, and creativity. 

As John likes to say, “If you are not doing what you are, then you are just doing what you do.” A lifetime athlete with many years as a veteran pilot and a competitor in cycling, whitewater kayaking, waterskiing, hang gliding, skydiving, base jumping and motorsports, John will take his passion for science and education to new heights. 

John’s story is one that proves dreams never really fade and creativity knows no limits. 

Connect with John on Twitter and Instagram at @johnpshoffner

For press inquiries, education and speaking engagements, contact: [email protected]

Space Art & Poetry Contest

Frequently Asked Questions

Send us pictures of your out-of-this-world paintings and drawings! Sorry, no photography, sculpture, or AI. 

You bet! We are thrilled that you will send us your vision for living in space! A digital certificate of participation will be emailed to all registered participants after the contest concludes.

Absolutely! As long as a student is in grades K-12 in the United States, along with primary or secondary schools internationally.

One piece of art or poetry per student. Go above and beyond and try one of each! 

Of course! However, if it is written in a language other than English, we will need an English translation of the poetry within the same document.


  • A photo of 2-Dimensional artwork (painting or drawing) 
  • Relates to the theme  
  • Imagination and Creativity 
  • Composition/Design 
  • Quality/Technical Skills 
  • Overall impression  


  • Relates to the theme 
  • Originality 
  • Conventions of poetry 
  • Word usage 
  • Grammar, mechanics, and spelling 
  • Sensory details 

The age-level representatives that have been selected will be notified via the information submitted at registration. 

Visit Contest Rules for additional information. 

Contest inquiries can be sent to [email protected]. Press inquiries, education engagements, and speaking engagements can be sent to [email protected]