MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WA.- Whether its the sound of a pencil scratching paper or the flash of light from their digital cameras, four artists with the Air Force Art Program are working to portray, through their art, Air Mobility Rodeo 2007.
We chose to come to Rodeo because there are a lot of events the artists can see at one time, said Don Wiggins, Air Mobility Commands curator for the Air Force Art Program. The Rodeo environment gives them a lot of exposure to things for creative ideas and possibilities.
According to Mr. Wiggins, the U.S. Air Force art collection documents the story of the Air Force through the universal language of art. The actions and deeds of Airmen are recorded in paintings by eminent American artists in a way words alone could never tell. These paintings are both historical and educational and expose the military and the public to the diverse roles and capabilities of the Air Force.
The artists on the trip include Priscilla Messner-Patterson, James Consor, Gerald Jerry Moore and Christine Murphy Soucey. Each artist has their own unique way of contributing to the Air Force Art Program.
Mr. Consor, who has the most pieces in the Air Force Art Collection, explained what he looks for when visiting an event like Rodeo.
I look for things that have a lot of visual activity, Mr. Consor said. Its those moments you can catch at a place like this that can help you decide whether or not something will make a good picture.
Ms. Murphy Soucey said her inspiration to join the Air Force Art Program came from an experience where she sent a deployed troop a small piece of art. In return, the troop sent her back a photo of the artwork hanging inside a tent.
I just felt incredibly proud to see a piece of my art on the other side of the world, she said. She added that she is on her first trip to a military base and said her goal while at Rodeo was to fill an entire sketchbook with ideas and composite sketches.
Im enjoying the visit and Im gaining a lot of great ideas for what Id like to do, Ms. Murphy Soucey said.
Mr. Moore said he first started supporting the Air Force Art Program back in the late 1970s as an independent artist.
Eventually, when he completed his first piece on the Wright Brothers in 1986, he said he knew he wanted to do more.
From there, I completed several historical paintings including one of the Boxcar, he said referring to a painting he completed on the C-119 Flying Boxcar.
Combined, the artists have more than a century of art experience. Mr. Wiggins hopes that experience, and the visit to Rodeo, translates into a volume of inspirational paintings for people to enjoy for years to come.
Weve been taking artists around the world to document the Air Force through the unique world of art, he said, referring to a recent trip he took with some other artists to Balad Air Base, Iraq . They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With the paintings these artists create, they can inspire Airmen for years to come. Maybe years from now, Rodeo 2007 will be a part of that history.
Mrs. Messner-Patterson has art pieces in the program that highlight F-15 Eagles, one named Missed Approach, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska . Mr. Consor has pieces ranging from Airlift Rodeo in the late 1980s to a recent piece showing an honor guard paying respects to a fallen comrade called, JPAC Honors for the Returned.
Mr. Moores detailed pieces include Wright Flyer in Septia Tone with the Wright Brothers and the first flight of a winged aircraft, and Tarmac Sunrise, highlighting a C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
Ms. Murphy Soucey, who signs her work as Murphy, is the newest of the group to the art program. Her most recent piece is Welcome Home, which highlights an Air Force pilots family welcoming him back from deployment.
All the artists come from different areas of the country. Mr. Moore and Mrs. Messner-Patterson are from the state of Washington. Mr. Consor is from New York City and Ms. Murphy Soucey is from Massachusetts.