It has been a year since Founder Helen Garriott has passed away but she is not forgotten at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum. “She was an amazing person who gave so much to the community,” says Executive Director Tracy Bittle, “Not only is she the reason Leonardo’s started, but as an artist and educator she touched so many lives.”
Her paintings are displayed all around the museum and Education Annex of Leonardo’s and can be viewed by guests but her pottery skills are also legendary. Many people might not have known that she holds a copyright on her “Moon Pots.” She had made thousands of these special pots and they were sold in every country in the world. The original mold for the form had broken so it won’t ever be able to replicate. For those lucky ones that have an original Moon Pot they sure are to be a treasured piece of her one of a kind spirit.
In Helen’s own words she describes that the pots are meant to make you feel as if you are standing on the moon, looking across the blackness of space at the little Earth in the distance. She meticulously hand painted each pot using very fine beach sand in the glaze to give it texture.
The moon pots are a great example of how art and science combine perfectly. Of course her husband Owen K. Garriott is a famous Sky Lab NASA Astronaut and together they established Leonardo’s Children’s Museum more than 26 years ago. It’s an example of how daily art and science activities are carried out at Leonardo’s to provide STEAM education.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Helen’s ideas were very forward thinking as the STEAM concept is key in today’s classrooms. Today her legacy continues to impact children and families as the next generation continue to be inspired.