ATLANTA – Mercer University’s STEM Education Innovation (SEI) Lab is one of several partners working toward developing a 4,800-square-foot natural art exhibit in downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park this October to commemorate International Day of the Girl.

The giant earthwork will be displayed Oct. 11-22 as an ecofriendly grass artwork featuring active NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, whose 42 days in space are the most of any African American female. The City of Atlanta on June 17 approved a permit for the installation in Woodruff Park.

The intent of the exhibit is to inspire women and girls, and especially people of color, to aim higher and reach for more advantageous goals, as well as to raise awareness about NASA’s Artemis Program, a U.S.-led international human spaceflight program launched in 2017 with the primary goal of returning humans to the moon in 2024.

During the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. NASA will also collaborate with commercial and international partners to establish sustainable exploration for the first time. So far, eight countries along with the U.S. have signed the Artemis Accords, an international agreement between governments participating in the program.

The earthwork installation was conceived by Christina Korp, president of Purpose Entertainment, and artist Stan Herd of Stan Herd Earthworks, working in partnership with Mercer’s SEI Lab, the Georgia Space Grant Consortium, Georgia Tech, Atlanta Parks Department, Downtown Atlanta, Hines Family Foundation, Atlanta International School and former NASA astronaut Nicole Stott’s Space for Art Foundation.

An informative and interactive website for the earthwork, in production now, will allow visitors to learn more about Wilson and the Artemis Program, as well as space opportunities for women and girls.

“The Apollo missions including the first moon landing inspired a generation and spurred on innovation. It ignited a spark in those kids to aim high for their dreams. Those kids turned into adults who are changing the world today,” said Korp. “We want to light the spark in today’s generation to empower them to change the world tomorrow, especially women and girls of color who maybe haven’t felt there was room for them in future space activities. Stephanie Wilson is living proof that their dreams can become a reality.”

About Christina Korp

Christina Korp is president of Purpose Entertainment and is the former manager of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon along with Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11. She is a space marketer and influencer who has an extensive background in producing space themed events and exhibitions. Korp produced the last five major galas at Kennedy Space Center celebrating Apollo 11, including the Apollo 50th Gala. She also conceptualized and produced The People’s Moon project, which resides as a permanent exhibit at Kennedy Space Center. She recently produced Our Story100 for the U.S. government’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.

About Stan Herd

Stan Herd, a native of Kansas, has been active in film, music and the arts in America’s heartland for more than 40 years. He began creating large scale “earthworks,” giant ecofriendly artworks made of organic materials, gaining recognition in National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine. Herd, once called the “Father of Crop Art” by CBS news anchor Dan Rather, has been crafting massive-scale designs into fields since the early 1980s. In 2020, he created earthworks of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, which gained attention by the Biden presidential campaign. Herd has created earthworks all over the United States as well as in Australia, Brazil, China and Cuba.

About the College of Education

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University’s two regional academic centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Named for the former women’s college that merged with Mercer in 1986, the College of Education offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Educator,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. For more information, visit education.mercer.edu.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​