Chamber luncheon hosts space program patch designer


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Timothy Gagnon and his wife, Lynn, were guests of the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce at the monthly membership luncheon.

Klinton Landress

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this year, what better time to appreciate those members of our community that have been a part of NASA and the various space programs?

On July 10, the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce (GPBCC) held its monthly membership luncheon with guest speaker Timothy Gagnon, the Kennedy Space Center artist and NASA missions and commemorative patches designer.

One of the central aims of the chamber’s monthly membership luncheon is to share community representatives with Palm Bay and its surrounding cities in a central location.

“The goal (of these meetings) is to educate and inspire our members to grow their business,” said Cindy Hunt, the director of member relations and development. “It’s just a great opportunity to bring people together. We want to be a resource for our members, so they can connect here, they can help each other with referrals, (etc.)”

During the meeting, Gagnon spoke about his work designing patches for various space programs, as well as about his inspirations. Gagnon’s work has been part of the International Space Station program, and many of his designs have been worn by astronauts in space.

“The most interesting aspect (of my work) is that my artwork orbits the Earth,” Gagnon said. “A lot of artists have gallery showings, and they’re all wonderful and well deserved, but my gallery is the International Space Station.

“Every crew is different,” Gagnon said, explaining the difficulties of his work. “They all have likes and dislikes; some want a very complex design, some want it very simple. Meeting their expectations is the biggest challenge (for me), especially now with international crews.”

Gagnon is a self-taught artist and designer, working in both traditional media as well as in digital. One of the most important early inspirations for him was artist Robert McCall, with whom Gagnon was later able to work.

Gagnon was invited to July’s luncheon by Nancy Peltonen, the president and CEO of the GPBCC.

“I met Gagnon at the 46th Space Congress, and he designed the patch for that,” Peltonen said. “It was beautiful. We were sitting together and (...) I said, ‘you would be perfect to speak at our luncheon,’ and now with the Apollo celebrations, he (turned out to be) the perfect one to be at this luncheon. We have a lot of community leaders (at the monthly membership luncheon).”

For more information about Gagnon’s work, go to KSCartist.com.

For more information about the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce and its monthly membership luncheon, call 321-951-9998.