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.

Red Talk: We Have to Plan-it

October 15 | 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us for a discussion about space exploration and the threat of replicating and repeating settler colonial attitudes and actions.

Rocky 7

October 15 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

We ARE Rocky 7, a 6-piece band of musical ROCKSTARZ from Hampton Roads (and beyond).  With a repertoire ranging from Black Sabbath and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Janet Jackson, Post Malone and Bruno Mars, the band delivers a night of high energy, sweat and an unforgettable show of Rock, Alternative and Top 40 hits.

Red Crooked Sky

October 15 | 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Virginia-based Native American Indian dance troupe Crooked Red Sky is well known for connecting cultures, educating, and inspiring through traditional and contemporary dance. The troupe is based in Southeastern Virginia and represents an array of tribes: Cherokee, Sioux, Meherrin, Osage, Pamunkey, Seneca, Monacan and others. Experience the traditions of past and present through dance. Meet us under Mars!

Participatory Drum Circle with Drum Your Dream

October 15 | 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Come participate in a 50-person drum circle - open to the public!  Pull up a chair and have fun drumming below Mars, led by Arthur Lo.

ODU Concert Choir

October 16 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Let their voices be heard!  The ODU Concert Choir grace the stage for an unforgettable performance, dedicated to Mars.

Paper Aliens

October 16 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Paper Aliens is a vibrant, genre-bending quintet from Norfolk, Virginia. The group’s musical discoveries take flight into a refreshing blend of soul-driven psychedelic funk and rock to unveil a unique sound all their own.

Face Painting with Meredith Magoun

October 16 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

From the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, Senior Lecturer Meredith Magoun crash-lands into this Mars Fest to decorate all of our faces in paint!

Norfolk State University’s Dance Theatre

October 16 | 8:00 pm

NSU Dance under Mars, a demonstration of movement through storytelling and physical narration.

On the Surface with ODU Dance

October 16 | 9:00 pm

Join ODU dancers on the surface of Mars! Watch as they traverse the rocky Martian terrain, shifting the ground beneath them. After the performance, step foot on the surface yourself for a tactile experience.

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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