Shana (274199)

History was made recently as the Museum of Art and History’s (MOAH) Shana Mabari became the first artist to fly onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

“It is due to historic expeditions such as the one taken by NASA and Mabari earlier this month, that our community has become synonymous with the aerospace industry,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “A new space race is underway, as so many in this ever-evolving field work to make civilian space tourism a reality. Our City champions innovation; this partnership between NASA and MOAH is yet another ‘first’ for the city of Lancaster.”

Mabari, known in the Antelope Valley for her monumental sculpture “Astral Challenger” located at Challenger Way and Avenue L, rode with the NASA team to gather information for communicating NASA science through art. On board SOFIA, which is the largest airborne observatory, using a 2.7 metertelescope to study the infrared universe, Mabari spent the 10 hour flight observing celestial magnetic fields, star-forming regions, comets, nebulae, and the galactic center.

“It was an honor and a privilege to experience the elegant complexities of infrared astronomy, astrophysics, and astrochemistry with the NASA team,” Mabari said..

As an extension of Mabari’s project, the artist and MOAH will partner with publisher Griffith Moon to create a book dedicated to the interpretations of the term “space” through text and images. This exhibit will also include the spatial installation work of Laddie John Dill and photographs by artist Jay Mark Johnson.

“This exhibit will forge an important connection between the arts and science, especially given the region’s deep history with aerospace and its creative innovation,” said Ronda Perez, Lancaster assistant city manager.

The Lancaster Museum of Art and History is dedicated to strengthening awareness, enhancing accessibility, and igniting the appreciation of art, history, and culture in the Antelope Valley through dynamic exhibitions, innovative educational programs, creative community engagement, and a vibrant collection which celebrates the richness of the region. MOAH is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit or call (661) 723-6250.