Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tribute in Smoke to Amelia Earhart, Aviation Pioneer

This amazing image of famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, was created by artist Daniel Diehl for the Artprize 2012 display in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, this past September and October. The image of the aviation pioneer was one of the three renderings he developed by "painting" with candle soot. All three images, entitled In a Puff of Smoke, were made by capturing and manipulating the soot collected by passing paper through the flame of a candle. I was struck by his expertise with this medium which he researched to learn how to work with this, a very unusual method of artwork.

I couldn't stop studying the picture. It pulled me in, not only because of the fantastic execution using unusual materials, but also because of the subject.

Ms. Earhart is a fascinating woman, a pioneer in aviation. In 1928 she jumped at the chance to be  the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. After that flight she secretly planned and executed a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. All alone in an airplane for hours and hours. Let me remind you there were no high tech navigational instruments like we have today and absolutely no GPS to help her find the route. She had to believe in herself to make these plans and execute them.

It was on her trip to fly around the globe in 1937 that Ms. Earhart was lost to the world and the people who loved her. To this day, her disappearance is clouded in mystery.

She was a hero to us for setting aviation records, standing up for women's rights, and a wonderful inspiration to girls and young women even today to pursue their dreams even if they seem impossible to attain.

To learn more about Ms. Earhart click on the Official Website of Amelia Earhart.

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