Astronaut-Oceanographer: Kathryn Sullivan © Sonia M Callahan

Astronaut-Oceanographer: Kathryn Sullivan

Sonia M Callahan

Piedmont, California, USA

Artist Statement

I chose to depict Kathryn Sullivan, an Astronaut and Oceanographer, as my strong woman. Her story is an important one, as her substantial body of work and contributions over four decades not only inspires women in science, but all women. Relatively unknown to me before researching this project, I was amazed to learn of her long list of brave accomplishments and leadership with our nation’s most prestigious organizations. Kathryn Sullivan has been quietly changing the role of women and space exploration. My quilt attempts to convey the pride and perseverance of this brave woman-a truly outstanding scientist!

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

Kathryn Sullivan was the first woman to walk in space during the Challenger Space Mission in 1984. She completed a total of three space missions.


Machine stitched and quilted, raw edge appliqué, and hand stitching


Commercial and hand-dyed fabrics, sequins, batiks, hand stenciled fabrics, and plastic overlay