Arthur R. Woods

Arthur Woods was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, USA in 1948.  He studied psychology, art and literature at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. After graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 and completing U.S. military service in 1972, he began his art career in California in 1972 before moving to Switzerland in 1974 where he currently lives and works. He has dual Swiss and American citizenship and speaks English and German. He is married and has two children.

His involvement with space activities began over fifty-five years ago when he had the fortunate experience to personally witness the beginnings of the U.S. space program while living in the immediate vicinity of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center (1959 -1970). There he held summer jobs at the space center in 1967 & 1968 during the Apollo program.

Beginning in the mid-1980’s he initiated a number of art-in-space projects:

  • The O.U.R.S. – Orbiting Unification Ring Satellite (1985)
  • The OUR-Space Peace Sculpture (OUR-SPS) (1988)
  • The Cosmic Dancer sculpture (1992-1993)
  • Ars Ad Astra – the 1st Art Exhibition in Earth Orbit (1994-1995)
  • The SEEDS project (1995)  (Send Our Seeds 2013)
  • The Cosmic Stones (2004)
  • S.O.S. – Space Option Star (2013)
  • S.O.S. – Send Our Seeds (2013)
  • S.P.S. – Space Peace Star (2015)

A full-size (6m dia.) OUR- Space Peace Sculpture was built by NPO Energia in the U.S.S.R. in 1990
The Cosmic Dancer project (1993) , and
Ars Ad Astra: The 1st Art Exhibition in Earth Orbit  (1995)
were realized on the Mir space station.

Other Activities:
In 1990 he founded the OURS Foundation(1990-2003), a cultural and astronautical organization dedicated to introducing, nurturing and expanding a cultural dimension to humanity’s astronautical endeavors. In addition to being a vehicle for the development of space art projects, the OURS Foundation organized the 1st European Space Art Workshop held in Montreux, Switzerland in 1992 and was co-organizer, along with Leonardo/OLATS and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) of the 9 space art workshops (1997-2005) held first in Paris and then later in other venues. The OURS Foundation also organized or co-organized international exhibitions of space art held at the International Astronautical Congresses (IAC) in Oslo, 1995, Turin, 1997 and Melbourne in 1998. In addition, the various projects been exhibited in numerous art venues including the Art Basel art fair in 1987, 1988 and 1989; and in space venues such as Space Commerce 1988, 1990 and 1992.

In cooperation with Leonardo/OLATS/International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and with the sponsorship of the European Space Agency (ESA) the OURS Foundation developed the “Spacearts: The Space Arts Database” project which has been online since

He served as co-chair of the IAA sub-committee on the arts and literature and from 1996 – 2003, and was involved in the planning of the IAA sessions related to the arts and humanities held at the annual International Astronautical Congress.

He has co-organized / managed several ESA and IAA studies including the design and maintenance of the related websites:

  • ESA study – “ITSF: Innovative Technologies in Science Fiction for Space Applications”: which has also conducted two international competitions for Science Fiction short stories.
  • IAA study – “The Impact of Space Activities on Society”: where world leaders were invited to comment on the importance of space activities.
  • IAA study – “Space Expectations: How the Public Views Space Activities”: a multilingual survey in 7 languages of the public’s expectations about space. The preliminary results were presented at the IAC in Glasgow. (Website now closed)
  • IAA / ESA sponsored study: “Spacearts: The Space Art Database” 2003.
  • ESA study (2002) – “Using Space Technology to Celebrate the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy” ESA Contract No. 16188/02/NL/MV

He, along with Dr. Marco C. Bernasconi is co-author of the ” Space Option” concept – an evolutionary plan to meet the basic and anticipated needs of humanity through the utilization of near Earth resources.  In 2013, he launched a new website dedicated to The Space

Recently, he has been working with Space Renaissance International to host a “Space,Not War! congress in 2017 and is congress chairman and manager of the event’s

He has been a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) since 1995 and has published and/or co-authored more than twenty-five papers primarily related to the cultural dimensions of Astronautics. He is a guest lecturer at the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France.

Recently, his art-in-space projects have been exhibited in Falling Without Fear (2012-2013), The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM, USA, Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration (2013), UCR-University of California Riverside, USA and in Revolutions: The Inexorable Evolution of Art (2013), organized by the Canadian Space Society in Calgary, Canada.

His terrestrial activities include the development and management of swissart – an arts portal that has been providing information and web services for the contemporary arts in Switzerland since 1996. and making hyper-realistic paintings about

Space Websites: (Former website of the OURS Foundation)  (Space Renaissance International) (a website dedicated to the late space art pioneer Ludek Pesek)



List of Publications:

Contact: P.O. Box 262, CH-8260 Stein am Rhein, Switzerland