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Honoring the Tusgekee Airmen at Oshkosh – Article by Michelle Rouch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by womenavart


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OSHKOSH, WI – Aviation Artist, Michelle Rouch, Tucson, AZ has donated in her third consecutive year several of her original artworks to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Program. The organization, established in 1992 and currently co-chaired by Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III and Jeffrey Skiles, offers our youth between the ages of 8 through 17 an opportunity to learn general aviation skills and how to fly.

The Gathering of Eagles Gala, known for bringing together aviators, raises funds for the Young Eagles Program. This year’s celebration salutes our American veterans from the highest Medal of Honor, Capt. Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., our nation’s greatest generation, Col. Bud Anderson, Bob Hoover, Gene Cernan, living Doolittle Raiders, Staff Sergeant David J. Thatcher and Col. Richard E. Cole, and the Tuskegee Airmen, Col. Charles McGee, Lt. Col. George Boyd, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, Lt. Col. Harold Brown, Lt. Col. Bob Ashby, Lt. Col. Washington Ross, and Lt. Col. William Thompson.

The Gathering of Eagles Gala recognized “The Tuskegee Airmen, as a living reminder and knows how to change the shape of our future. They held their head high with dignity and grace.”

This year’s Young Eagle event raised an astonishing $3 million. The highlight of the auctioning night was a handsomely designed 2013 Ford Mustang themed on the Tuskegee Airmen, in honor of their service and dedication during WWII.

Rouch’s contribution included four original pieces that were inspired by George Lucas’ “Red Tails‟ movie, a true story detailing the plight of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, African-Americans who had fought and died for their rights that were denied to them by their own country.

The fundraiser acquired Rouch’s original graphite artwork, titled “Call to Duty” which rendered four Tuskegee Airmen under a P-51 fly by formation.

Call to Duty

The second piece, titled “Honoring Col. Charles McGee” in 24k gold leaf and oil carefully selected to ensure 100% made with USA material, depicts the Tuskegee Airman Pilot, Charles McGee posing next to his P-51B Mustang, nicknamed “Kitten,” an endearing name, after his wife.

Honoring Col. Charles McGee

Inspired by Col. Charles McGee, a highly decorated aviator, holding a record of 409 combat missions during WWII, Korean, and Vietnam, was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Rouch continued and created “Here’s Kitten.”

Here’s Kitten

While doing research for material, Rouch had discovered Tuskegee Airwomen that served as nurses during the war.

Nurses – Tuskegee Airwomen

EAA youth educational program offers an opportunity to fly for free of charge and all made possible because of generous EAA members and their donations. The artwork was auctioned off during the Gathering of the Eagles fundraising event. Rouch’s mission is to encourage kids to aim high and actively donates her time annually to AIAA Kids Club program, facilitating an Engineering/Art exercise for 8-10 year olds.

Michelle Rouch is a self-taught artist, who combines technical knowledge and accuracy with ability to define abstraction between finite lines. She continues to explore and test new mediums and her current goal is to redefine aviation art with a contemporary approach. Rouch’s engineering background offers the foundation for her artistic ability to draw aviation, aerospace, and astronomical subjects.

Tuskegee Airmen Panel at Warbirds in Review

Rouch believes that her aviation artwork can be used as a communication tool to encourage kids in the field of math, science, and engineering.