NEWS | June 22, 2007

AETC, UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures to showcase art exhibit

By Megan Orton 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Education and Training Command presents an exhibit titled "Heritage to Horizons: U.S. Air Force History Through Art" at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute of Texan Cultures beginning June 29.

The collection features paintings depicting various eras of aviation history from the dawn of powered flight to today's expeditionary missions in honor of the Air Force's 60th Anniversary.

The paintings on display were hand-picked by the AETC history office for the exhibit to represent the history of the Air Force across the years. The works will be displayed chronologically at the Institute, where visitors can see various representations of the history of the Air Force through artistic eyes, free of charge.

The featured artwork has been donated by artists over time to the Air Force Art Program, which was established to inform the public of the history and heritage of the Air Force.

The program was created in 1950, when some 800 works of art were transferred from the Army to the newly formed Air Force, as a way to maintain the artistic history of the days before the Air Force was an independent service.

These pieces and a growing collection of donated art documenting the history of military aviation are managed year-round by the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of the Administrative Assistant and placed on loan at bases throughout the Air Force by the Air Force Art Program Office.

"All of the artwork featured in the exhibit was specially created for the Air Force by professional artists who donated these works to promote and chronicle the Air Force mission," said Robert Crawford, Staff Curator at the AETC history office. "The exhibit is also meant to educate both Air Force members and the general public on the Air Force's history and heritage."

Augmenting the exhibit is a series of photographic murals created by the 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs Multimedia Center. These murals are displayed below the paintings, highlighting significant aircraft, people, places and events.

In addition to the chronological timeline, there are four displays of paintings and graphics that highlight specific aspects of Air Force history including the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Berlin Airlift and the Hurricane Katrina Humanitarian Operation.

"The multimedia center is excited to be a part of this exhibit because it gives us the opportunity to help explain the Air Force timeline over the last 60 years to the general public," said Michelle DeLeon, 12th FTW Public Affairs multimedia manager. "Our murals and timeline are educational aides to the exhibit visitors to help them understand the Air Force's valuable contributions to the history of air power."

The USAF Art exhibit is free to the public and runs through Aug. 12. The Institute is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. 

For more information, call the AETC History Office at (210) 652-6564.