Mars Fest

Join the Barry Art Museum on a voyage to Mars! This fall, the second annual Public Arts Festival at ODU is proud to present Mars: a large-scale sculpture by UK-based artist Luke Jerram. Building on last year’s journey to the Moon, Jerram’s red planet shimmers at nearly 23 feet in diameter; an approximate scale of 1:1 million. Each centimeter of the sculpture represents 10 kilometers of the surface of Mars, and pairs its galactic imagery with lights and custom surround sound.  

Serving as a meeting point on 43rd Street, Mars brings the Tidewater community together for three out-of-this-world nights, featuring presentations and performances by ODU students, professors, and local heroes. Join us for an adventure full of food, vendors, dance, music, and conversation, all exploring the Martian landscape and igniting the imagination of young and old. Alongside lively activities every hour on the hour, telescopes are available to observe the actual red planet. The Barry Art Museum will also be open to welcome visitors with hands-on activities from our partners at NASA Langley. 

Mars is an excursion – a celebration of art and science – that we hope you will be a part of. 

Oct. 14th – Oct. 16th

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public

Click Here for Volunteer Sign-UpSponsorsPrograms


The Barry Art Museum is grateful to artist Luke Jerram, the Exhibition Advisory Committee, Old Dominion University, NASA Langley and all of our enthusiastic community partners for their generosity and collaborative spirit in the creation of this exhibit and related festival programming.

Celestial Navigation with Nauticus

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Discover how ancient mariners used the stars, sun, and moon to navigate across the seas!  Find out how these tools of the trade are still in use today by gaining first-hand experience in celestial navigation.

Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Interact with spatial exploration technologies (such as drones) and discover how these devices have applications locally - and on Mars!

ODU Geography: Understanding This World, Looking to the Next

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

ODU's very own Geography Program discuss the geographical techniques utilized for the understanding of Earth, while calling into question how political and environmental interactions influence space exploration.

ODU Society of Physics Students

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) will be showcasing demos and distribute information regarding this exciting club!


October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Come meet, greet, and explore the Tidewater fandom community!

ODU Writers in Community

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Poems about Mars, written by Hampton Roads Elementary School children, will be displayed along the festival grounds in Mars-red chalk!

Jefferson Lab

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Fun and exciting science and stem-related activities and information!

College of Arts and Letters

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Come explore what this exciting ODU program has to offer for prospective students!

ODU Film Program

October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

Lift off to the 2nd floor of the Barry Museum to explore the depths of space through films by ODU filmmakers.  Experience this special collection on display all three days of Mars Fest. Discover what this program has to offer for prospective students.  With emphasis in filmmaking, film studies, and cinema and TV production, ODU promises a degree fit for the big screen!


October 14 | 6:00 pm - October 16 | 10:00 pm

The Showmobile by SevenVenues will be parked at the corner of Monarch Way and 45th street.

United Souls Band

October 14 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

For three decades, United Souls Band has mesmerized audiences with their explosive style and mesmerizing riddims! Some in the industry say their electrifying stage performance is one of the best in the game today. USB has become more than a band – it's a musical fraternity, not bound by structure for structure's sake. Whether you've never seen a USB show or have completely lost count, you can't miss it this time around.

Mars Fest 2022 Costume Contest

October 14 | 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Feel like dressing up as your favorite Sci-Fi character or "Titan" of science?  Then this is your chance to show off and strut your stuff!  Mars Fest will become the staging grounds for a far-out costume contest, taking place on October 14th!  Channel your cosmic energy into a Sci-Fi character!  Or dress up as Mars itself! If it's science-related, we want your participation! Register HERE!

GSA Dance and Instrumental Music

October 14 | 9:00 pm

The Bringer of War, from Gustav Holst's The Planets will be brought to life by the GSA Dance Team!

RED Talk: Storytime with Slover Library

October 15 | 6:00 pm

A fun and exciting storytime trip for the whole family!  Sit back, relax, and listen as Slover Library takes you on an adventure fit for the stars.

Pop-up Space Readings with the ODU Library

October 15 | 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Have you ever wanted to travel to galaxies, visit exotic worlds, or meet aliens? Try out our space bites and hear book excerpts from the experts!

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View other installations of Mars from across the globe.


Mars Fest Community Partners:

African American Creative Community Series Inc.


Arts 4 Learning

Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries

Chartway Arena

Chrysler Museum of Art

Cova Brewing Company 

Drum Your Dream

Elizabeth River Trail Foundation

The Governor’s School for the Arts

The Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Jefferson Lab

Lil Truck of Tools

MarsCon Virginia

Michael and Kimthanh Lê Planetarium



Norfolk State University

Red Crooked Sky

Selden Market

Slover Library

STEM ADY-Amplified Youth Inc.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Virginia Space Grant Consortium


ODU Partners:


Arts @ ODU

College of Arts and Letters

Dance Program

Department of Game Design, Development, and Criticism

Department of World Languages and Culture

Department of Communication and Theatre Arts

Diehn School of Music & Virginia Wind Symphony

Educational Foundation 

Film Program

Facilities Management and Construction

Geography Program

Masters of Fine Arts Program

Michael and Kimthanh Le Digital Theater Planetarium

Office of Community Engagement

Office of Research

Office of Risk Management

Real Estate Foundation

Society of Physics Students

Space Systems Laboratory

Strategic Communications 

Transportation and Parking Services

University Bookstore 

University Library

Writers in Community