Rhinos on the Moon! And I Met Nana Visitor! What?!

Rhinos on the Moon! And I Met Nana Visitor! What?!

Rhinos will be on the Moon! Yes, they're in a painting. Yes, that painting will be digitized. And YES, rhinos need all the good press they can get. I'm helping.

What on Earth am I talking about?

I want a rhino in every home, and I'm not stopping with terrestrial locations. My rhinoceros painting, Luna, is headed for the Moon in 2024. The painting is part of the Lunar Codex. It will be specially digitized along with the selected work of other artists, musicians, writers, and more. Those digitized works are being sent to the Moon in three separate missions.

Putting art on the moon has profound cultural significance. Art, in its many forms, is not only the foundation of culture but also how we are able to communicate and create lasting bonds across cultures and across time. Art should be everywhere people are. 

And, to paraphrase a friend, when you think about how ridiculously excited we are every time we find more 10,000+ year old cave paintings, you can imagine how unbelievably mind-boggled whoever finds the Lunar Codex will be. The digitized time capsule is purported to last 100,000 years!

About the Painting

Triple rhino painting called Luna, by Sarah Soward

Luna is a petite painting, only 10x10 inches, but it packs a punch. The main rhino is in a power pose, representing the full moon. It is also in highest contrast to the nearly black background. The rhinos in profile on either side represent the crescents of the waxing and waning moon. The detail is rich in this tiny painting in order to honor the cratered and mottled surface of the Moon. 

The symbolism of the painting also nods to the modern archetypal idea of a trinity of goddesses representing three phases of womanhood that are generalized down to maiden, mother, and crone. Just like there are more than three phases of the Moon, there are more than three ways to experience womanhood. This is a potent symbol, however, that brings to mind cycles and the relation of the known to the unknown (full vs. new moon). The Moon is ever changing and full of potential.


We all know that I began painting rhinos in 1999, right? While I do paint other animals, rhinos are my first love and what set me on the path of Surreal wildlife artist.

Luna is only one of my moon-inspired rhinoceros paintings. I'm working on an entire Moon Rhino series, starting with our solar system. 

About the Lunar Codex

The Lunar Codex consists of a series of digital time capsules being sent to space. The first part of the project (The Orion Collection/creator Samuel Peralta’s work) went into space and returned to Earth on NASA Artemis 1 in 2022. 

There are three time capsules scheduled to go to the Moon and stay there. 

  • The Peregrin and Nova Collections are scheduled to launch in 2022. 
    • Peregrin is going to Sinus Viscositatis aboard United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur/Astrobotic Peregrine Lander. 
    • Nova is going to the Lunar South Pole via SpaceX Falcon 9/Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lander. 
  • The Polaris Collection (which includes Luna by Sarah Soward) is scheduled to launch in late 2024.
    • Polaris is going to the Nobel Crater in the South Polar Region aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy/Astrobiotic Griffin Lander/NASA VIPER Rover
    • Polaris will be on the Griffin Lander as the VIPER Rover explores the crater. This crater has permanently shadowed areas. The rover is looking for water. 

Nana Visitor is Amazing

Nana Visitor, of Star Trek fame, asked to interview me for Visitor’s upcoming book, Open a Channel. We met at Yuri’s Night 2023 and enjoyed a wonderful conversation about space, art, and making room for oneself/opening a channel as a woman in this world and beyond. 

Nana Visitor is a blast! Meeting her was a dream come true. Then she asked to interview me and accepted my business card! WHAT?! 

Images of Sarah Soward (on the left in each) and Nana Visitor (on the right in each).
Nana Visitor followed Sarah Soward on Instagram

OH! And then she FOLLOWED ME ON INSTAGRAM and my SOUL left my BODY.

Whew. Okay, calming back down again.

I'm looking forward to the interview. As of right now, the scheduling process is started! I will keep you updated as best as I am able as this dream unfolds.

As of right now, the original painting of Luna is available for purchase. <---That statement is subject to change. 
Prints are also available. Woo!

P.S. I was also interviewed by Planetary Radio!

Planetary Radio posts their interviews about space as podcasts. I have no idea when my interview will go live, but check out the podcast regardless! They do great work!

Back to blog