Sept. 25, 2003
Launching rockets, orbiting satellites and futuristic worlds beyond the imagination characterize the space-aged paintings on display during the "Fly Me To The Future" aviation art exhibit opening at the U.S. Air Force Museum on Oct. 9.
Designed as a visual celebration of the Centennial of Flight, the exhibit will feature 35 paintings by legendary artists John Clark, Robert McCall and Mark Waki.
John Clark served as a jet aircraft mechanic during the Vietnam era, stationed in Okinawa and Thailand. At the end of his service commitment, he entered Marquette University to earn a degree in engineering. Convinced he wanted to pursue art rather than engineering, Clark later transferred to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where he earned a bachelor's degree in fine art, a master of art, and a master of fine arts in drawing and painting. Interested in the realism of aviation art and intrigued by the imaginative ideas about outer space, Clark believes it's important to look to past landscape artists such as Jean Baptiste, Camille Corot, George Inness, and John Constable in order to present the different elements of space in artistic terms. Clark is an Artist Fellow and past president of the American Society of Aviation Artists and a member of the U.S. Air Force Art Program.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Robert McCall began painting while still in high school. He served in World War II as a bombardier, then moved to New York in 1949 to pursue a career in commercial illustration. McCall began his freelance career when Life Magazine asked him to illustrate a series of articles on the future of space exploration. In 1975, he painted his favorite large public work-the six-story space mural "A Cosmic View" for the National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian. McCall is NASA's visual historian, documenting the space program for more than 35 years. In addition, he's worked on films such as the classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Star Trek, The Motion Picture," and Disney's "The Black Hole." McCall is famous for his dramatic depictions of the spirit of space exploration in the 20th century and beyond. His name has become synonymous with the unbounded potential of humanity's future among the planets and stars, and his art has appeared around the world in magazines, books and on postage stamps.
Mark Waki began drawing flying machines of all types in his preschool days. Sure he would become a pilot until his poor uncorrected vision dictated otherwise, Waki turned to painting as a means of connection to the fighter pilot community, military aviation, and space flight. Waki has been a professional aerospace artist since 1980 and his artwork is displayed with the U.S. Air Force Art Collection at the Pentagon, with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and in many private collections. Waki considers technical accuracy as important as artistic style in the unique world of aviation and aerospace art, however believes both must be present for good art. Waki is a full-time artist for Thiokol Propulsion near Brigham City, Utah, which is part of the ATK Aerospace Group.
The public is invited to meet the artists at a special reception and dinner held in the Museum's art gallery on Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, with an Oct. 3 deadline for reservations. For more information, contact Denise Bollinger at 255-8046, ext 492. Following the dinner at 7:30 p.m., the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight will conduct a concert in the Museum's Modern Flight Hangar. The concert is free and open to the public.
"Fly Me To The Future" will be at the Museum through Dec. 31 as part of a yearlong event, "A Centennial Celebration of Aviation Art," featuring more than 250 original paintings by acclaimed aviation artists. The event offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience aviation art as never before. For more information, call Denise Bollinger at (937) 255-8046, ext. 492.
The largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world, the U.S. Air Force Museum is located on Springfield Pike, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, call the U.S. Air Force Museum's Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-4704, ext. 332.
United States Air Force Museum
Public Affairs Division
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433-7102
Public: Call (937) 255-8046, ext. 492
Media: Chris McGee (937) 255-4704, ext. 332