NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to attend a
ceremony in which disabled art students will present space art they
painted with computer technology to NASA at the Ames Research Center
Visitor Center, Moffett Field, Calif., Wednesday, June 12 at 12:30
p.m. PDT. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101
and drive east toward the main gate. At the stop sign in front of the
main gate, turn left and follow the road until you see a large space
shuttle model, which is near the Visitor Center entrance and parking

Space-related artwork created on computers by disabled students will
be presented to NASA at 12:30 p.m. PDT, on Wednesday, June 12, at the
Visitor Center, NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon

The students, aged 10 to 25 years, attend classes at CADartists,
Inc., a nonprofit organization based in San Jose, Calif., that helps
disabled students of all ages use the power of computers to express
themselves with art. This year the students’ assigned theme is space,
and they are presenting an image of the space shuttle, and another of
an astronaut doing a ‘space walk’ to NASA Ames Director Dr. Henry

“Their latest project was to do artwork about the space shuttle –
drawing the shuttle, an astronaut and also what the astronaut might
see from the flight deck,” said Dick Kurkowski, a NASA retiree who
arranged a tour of NASA Ames for the students.

Kurkowski’s neighbor, Tom Bakey, started helping disabled persons
learn art about 10 years ago. “I saw a whole bunch of disabled people
one time, and I said, ‘Why don’t we teach them to draw using
computers?'” explained Bakey, a retired entrepreneur. His efforts
eventually became CADartists. He retired 15 years ago after he
started a number of Silicon Valley companies.

The original artwork produced by the students is made solely with
computers, a mouse and software. No paintbrushes or paint are used,
but still the resulting pictures look like traditional art.

“The special program eliminates the frustration many of these
students would have in a traditional art class. If mistakes are made,
they can be easily corrected or erased to begin again,” according to
the CADartists web page. It is located on the World Wide Web at:

CADartists includes a group of business people who volunteer time and
materials to help disabled children and young adults. Last summer the
students also visited the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, Calif.,
and they created artwork of the facilities on their computers. Bill
Gates of Microsoft signed their artwork and thanked them.

Earlier, when then President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited
Sunnyvale, Calif., the class created artwork based on photographs
taken during the visit. Some of the artwork was put on display in the
White House, and Vice President Gore called Bakey to congratulate him.

Students have fun creating art when they meet once a week in a
classroom at KLA-Tencor, Inc., San Jose, Calif., equipped with
personal computers. The students select the width of their ‘brush
stroke’ and if their artwork will look like an oil or watercolor
painting. CADartists have earned many awards, and their artwork is on
display in many public and commercial buildings, as well as in homes
across the country.

“For their efforts, each week a student is selected to be ‘Artist Of
The Week.’ The student receives special award, like a T-shirt,
depicting the artwork. All students get their pictures framed,” the
CADartists Web site states.