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Art Lectures and Presentations

My experience as a speaker dates back to my college days and my political activism. Some years after graduating I began to deliver presentations to community groups on the topics of astronomy, planetary science, and space exploration. This was done initially as a spokesperson for the Northern Illinois Space Advocacy, the Planetary Studies Foundation, and the Chicago Society for Space Studies. I have also had the good fortune to have been able to develop and teach a number of courses for Chicago's Adler Planetarium, including a course on astronomical image processing and astronomical art. In 2002 I was selected to be a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and continue to provide presentations dealing with planetary science.

Jim Plaxco narrating the Blast Off concert performed by the Music Institute of Chicago Orchestra

Some of the venues for my past presentations include:


Adler Planetarium, Chicago IL
Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst IL
Cernan Space Center, Triton College, River Grove IL
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago IL
PSF Henize Science Center, Crystal Lake IL


Campanelli Public School, Schaumburg IL
Da Vinci Academy, Elgin IL
Eisenhower Junior High School, Hoffman Estates IL
Harper College, Palatine IL
Kennedy High School, Chicago IL
Prairie Ridge High School, Crystal Lake IL


Gale Borden Library, Elgin IL
Helen M. Plum Memorial Library, Lombard IL
Hinsdale Public Library, Hinsdale, IL
Morton Grove Public Library, Morton Grove, IL
Niles Public Library, Niles IL
Schaumburg Township District Library, Schaumburg IL
Wauconda Library, Wauconda IL

Conventions and Conferences

Capricon Science Fiction Convention
Duckon Science Fiction Convention
International Space Development Conference
Midwest Space Development Conference
Self Employment in the Arts Conference
To Be CONtinued Science Fiction Convention
Windycon Science Fiction Convention
Worldcon World Science Fiction Convention


Barrington Cultural Arts Center
Boys Scout Troop 67, Northbrook IL
ED/CAS/SSC Societies of IEEE, Motorola, Schaumburg, IL
Fox Valley IEEE, IIT Rice Campus, Wheaton IL
Friendship Village Men's Club, Schaumburg IL
Hanover Township Senior Center, Bartlett, IL
Harper College Astronomy Day, Palatine IL


Lake County Astronomical Society, Deerfield IL
Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston IL
Naperville Astronomical Association, Naperville IL
Northwest Suburban Astronomers, Hoffman Estates IL
Pixel Camera Club, Schaumburg IL
Skokie Valley Astronomers, Riverwoods, IL

As my art became an increasingly integral part of my life, I began to give presentations that tied together my interests in art, space, astronomy, and computer graphics. Following is a list of my lectures that relate to art or which would be useful to other artists. The length of each lecture/presentation can be tailored to a group's particular needs. If you are a representative of a community organization, civic group, library, etc. and would like to book me for a presentation, please click the link below to send me an email.

Index of Lectures/Presentations

For additional information about each presentation, click the presentation's title link. You can also download a PDF summary of the presentations: The Presentations, Lectures, and Classes of Jim Plaxco PDF (Note: if you are using the Firefox browser, it defaults to using its own internal PDF viewer, over-riding any Adobe Reader plugin you may have installed. The Firefox viewer has multiple issues and should not be used. Consult Firefox documentation to fix this issue.)

CategoryDescription and Link to lecture / presentation detail.
Art Business

Print On Demand for Artists and Photographers

An analysis of how to review the many competing print on demand businesses and how to choose the POD site most appropriate for your art/photography business. Category: art business

Astronomical Art

Art of Astronomy

A review of the history of astronomical art. Category: astronomical art

Astronomical Art

Astronomical Image Processing with NASA and your PC

A tutorial on astronomical and planetary image processing. Category: astronomical art, instructional

Astronomical Art

Hubble's Universe

A look at the Hubble Space Telescope, its astronomical images, and discoveries. Category: astronomy, astronomical art

Astronomical Art

Imaging Mars

An overview of planetary image processing as it relates to NASA robotic missions to Mars. Category: astronomical art

Computer Art

The Beauty of Algorithmic Art

A visual tour of algorithmic art. Category: digital art

Computer Art

Designing Algorithmic Art: From Concept to Realization

A tutorial-oriented look at the creative design process used to create algorithmic art. Category: digital art

Computer Art

Algorithmic Art: Where Art, Computers, and Math Collide

A look at algorithmic art and its history. Category: digital art

Computer Art

Computer Art, Digital Art, New Media Art

The exploding popularity of art created with the aid of digital devices and the continual invention of new means of creative use of computing technology means that this field of art is ever changing. This presentation provides an overview of the rapidly growing field of new media art, and the associated terminology.

Computer Art

Creating Digital Spirographs and Harmonographs with Processing

A one session class on how to create digital spirographs and harmonographs using the Processing programming language. In addition to the lecture component, students are provided with model programs to explore and keep.

Computer Art

Glitch Art: Errors in the name of Art

A presentation on the history and nature of glitch art with a focus on digital glitching techniques.

Computer Art

Processing for Artists and Photographers

An introduction to the Processing platform for artists and photographers. Category: digital art, instructional

Digital Art

The Agony and Ecstasy of Being A Digital Artist

A first person account of the unique challenges and rewards of being a digital artist. Category: digital art

Digital Art

Live Art

A presentation and live demonstration of audio-driven art creation. Category: digital art

Earth Art

Planet Earth As Art: The View From Space

A presentation that presents planet Earth as a work of art based on satellite imagery. Category: earth art, remote sensing

Space Art

The National Space Society Space Settlement Art Contest

An inside look at the NSS Space Settlement Art Contest. Category: space art

Space Art

Art and the Exploration of Space

A look at space art, its development and uses in the realm of space exploration. Category: space art

Artist Web

Building an Online Presence: The Internet for Artists and Photographers

An instructional presentation for artists and photographers on how to create a presence on the Internet and how to market that presence. Category: art business, web development

Artist Web

Instagram and Pinterest for Artists and Photographers

A tutorial presentation for artists and photographers on how to use Instagram and Pinterest to promote your work. Category: art business, web development

Artist Web

Search Engine Optimization for Artists and Photographers Class

A tutorial presentation for artists and photographers on using SEO (search engine optimization) to improve their search engine ranking. Category: art business, web development

Artist Web

Social Media for Artists and Photographers Class

A tutorial presentation for artists and photographers on using social media to network and promote your art and photography. Category: art business, web development