SAN DIEGO, CA, June 2010 – For one hundred years, in war and peace, through triumph and tragedy, men and women have created and flown the machines that lifted them into the skies and beyond. For nearly as long, artists have created a visual record of those experiences, have documented those events both commonplace and momentous, and have shown the public depicting a moment in time. For nearly a quarter of a century, the artists of American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA) have been leaders in creating that vision.
Sixty-six paintings and sculptures, created by forty-two artists, jury-selected from among the world’s finest aviation masters, hang side by side on the walls of the San Diego Air & Space Museum from June through September, 2010. Aerospace artists and aficionados from all over the globe from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, and France arrived in San Diego for the ASAA’s 24th Annual International Aerospace Art Exhibition. The San Diego Air & Space Museum opened the show with a ribbon cutting ceremony with ASAA President, Bill Kluge offering recognition to the artists and dignitaries, who came to participate in the festivities. Guests mingled with dozens of artists from three continents, including ASAA co-founder and Smithsonian muralist Keith Ferris. ASAA president Bill Kluge introduced VIP guests aviation record-holder Jonathan Strickland; Victoria Hamilton, Executive Director, Commission of Arts and Culture from the City of San Diego; and James Kidrick, President/CEO of San Diego Air & Space Museum. Other guests that attended were Claude Rose, Tuskegee Airman with his family; George E. Watson, President of the San Diego Tuskegee Chapter; Ward Wilson, Boeing Director, San Diego Field Office; and Terry Brennan, San Diego Air & Space Museum Curator & Director of Restoration.
Honoring Naval Aviation’s 100th year of flight, ASAA artist member, Executive Director, CAPT Richard Dann arranged for the ASAA artists a welcoming reception at the NAS Headquarter. VADM Thomas Kilcline, USN, Commander of Naval Air Forces, and RADM Pat McGrath, USN Vice Commander, Naval Air Forces and Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve thank the artists for keeping naval history alive. The Naval Aviation Centennial intent is to raise public awareness.
The American Society of Aviation Artists was formed in 1986 to bring together, in one professional body, artists who are acknowledged leaders in the field for the purpose of recognizing and promoting interest in aviation art as a fine art form. Artist members are selected by a group of their peers on the basis of their demonstrated abilities and experience. Membership currently numbers over 300 artists and associate members representing all corners of the United States and around the world.
The ASAA holds annual forums which cover a variety of subjects and valuable information for artists, collectors and aviation enthusiasts alike. This year’s Forum opened its six-day program in San Diego on Monday, June 7th. Next year’s event will be held in Pensacola, Florida, as part of the centennial celebration of Naval Aviation.