SPACEY KC// SPACE ART WITH KC KATALBAS
There’s nothing quite like the wonders of far-flung galaxies in a night sky. Space has both humbled, startled and amazed us with its limitless boundaries. Local Nashville artist, KC Katalbas, brings the stars to the canvas in an attempt to put the sublime at eye level. Her pieces flesh out our century-long infatuation with space in a startling clear reality. Below I had the privilege of talking to KC about what inspires her to create space art, and how, as an astronomy student, she translates her space knowledge into her paintings.
How’d you get started doing space and science-related art?
I grew up loving science and art separately but they mingled together somewhere at the start of college. I got really into painting around that time but I was never very good at things with definite shapes like people or animals or buildings. Space and the sky and landscapes tend to be much more forgiving if you mess up or take artistic liberties. So I ended up going deeper into painting space objects since my love for astronomy was starting to grow at that time too.
What drives your passion for space science?
I think there’s a universal enchantment people have with the night sky. I haven’t really met anybody who’s been like ‘Ah yes the stars. Hm. Psh. Been there done that’. Space is vast and beautiful and we’ve learned so much by looking deeper into the skies for thousands of years… but there’s still mystery out there and it’s a mystery we face every time we look out into the night. So I guess that’s what drives my passion: the mystery, the wonder, and the adventure of exploring it all.
Where do you hope your artwork takes you in the future?
My main goal with astronomy art is to make people think about space and the beauty of the universe they live in. Of course, as an educator, I’d love to get people asking questions and getting curious about what’s out there too. I mostly just want to use art as a tool to ignite that curiosity and enchantment people already feel with the world around them. With that feeling in place, good questions get asked and sometimes really cool science can happen.
If you’re ever on Nashville’s West End, KC’s work can be spotted hanging from the walls of Three Brothers Coffee (across from Centennial Park).
–More of KC’s awesome art can be seen on her Instagram @kckatalbas