About the Artist

Frank is a versatile and innovative artist who is always pushing the boundaries of art. He is a valuable asset to the San Francisco arts community and to the world of space art. Frank Pietronigro is a fine artist, new media artist, author and an ‘Artronaut’ who has achieved international recognition as the first American artist to create “drift paintings” as his body and the 3D kinetic painting floated in weightlessness during his first parabolic flight aboard NASA’s KC135 turbojet.  
Frank Pietronigro, Photography by Joseph Szymanski

Frank Pietronigro is a San Francisco-based artist and arts advocate. He has lived in the city since 1977 and graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Frank is passionate about using art to connect with people and build community. He has produced several successful community arts projects, including Art in the Park and Intergeneration: Building Queer Community Across the Ages Through the Arts. He also directed the San Francisco Arts Commission Festival, a month-long celebration of the visual and performing arts.

In addition to his work in the community, Frank is also a pioneer in space art. He is the co-founder and chief visionary officer of the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC), an international space arts education organization that advocates for greater access for artists to space flight technology. Frank is also an “artonaut,” which is a term he coined to describe artists who use space as their canvas. He has presented plans for potential sub-orbital and orbital flight concepts that he would like to create.

Awards and Recognition

  • Multiple San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission Grants (2000-2003)
  • National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program Award (1998)
  • Sobel Memorial Scholarship from the San Francisco Art Institute (1996)
  • Creativity Certificate of Distinction from Art Direction Magazine (1995)
  • Merit Award from the Society of Communicating Arts (1994)