I am participating in the 11th year of Lake Oswego Reads as an invited artist. This year's book selection is Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt. It's a true story of the women called "computers" who launched America into space - my painting, Pinnacle, was inspired by this fascinating story. In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly created Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women known as "human computers" who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science, both where we've been and the far reaches of space to which we're heading. The author will meet with the artists in February.
Check out my painting from last year's Lake Oswego Reads book, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, on my Musings page.