By Darla McCammon
I have heard many sources call this Pandemic a “war.” Our country has always responded well when under attack and this virus is no exception. It has become the enemy. It is uplifting to see the different ways we are coping and helping. Similarities exist in things like food concerns and deliveries to those susceptible to the virus in our communities, sharing jigsaw puzzles with neighbors to save money and pass time.
We can even see good things happen in the area of art. I shared with you last week how many are using art skills and the way you can watch and learn on the internet while under quarantine or under “stay home” orders. There are many ways we can compare these generous donations of art education today to those thoughtful actions of people who have lived through one of our wars. Next week we will see how homebound people and art museums are working together to help us find ways to occupy ourselves with productive activities while learning about and producing art.
We can also learn from history. Let’s start with aircraft nose art. You can find out about it now, in this column, and through the internet. When this virus is defeated you can go to Dayton Ohio to the National Museum of the U.S. Airforce and see a whole lot of it in person.
Nose art was painted, generally on the nose, but occasionally on other parts of the military aircraft. There were paintings of sharks’ teeth, cartoon characters, scantily clad ladies dancing across the nose, and all manner of designs to embellish the craft. One of the most famous was the B29 bomber “Enola Gay” named after Pilot Col. Paul Tibbits’ mother. Another nuclear bomb dropper. named and heavily decorated with art, was “Bockscar.” This plane delivered the “Fat Man” bomb over Nagasaki, Japan. Nose art was enjoyed by the pilots and crew and was touted to bring them good luck as they headed off to places like the Philippines and eventually Japan, to engage the enemy.
The aircraft in the photo is a WW II military P-38 called the Silver Dragon by its’ occupants and the artist. It looks menacing, doesn’t it? Many airplanes defending our country were adorned with nose art and though it was against regulations the superiors felt it helped morale and thus did not enforce those regulations. Today we can go to airplane museums and see many of the creative paintings that were done to bring success to their air battles. You can also search on the internet for “military aircraft nose art” and find many interesting photos.
- Lakeland Art Association plans to hold its annual spring show competition on May 10. Contact Elizabeth Wamsley at [email protected] to verify dates and receive a prospectus.
- Oakwood Fine Arts Festival still planned for June 13. Call (574) 377-7543 for details and info
- Fort Wayne Arts Festival at Jefferson Pointe is still scheduled for September 12 and 13. For info call (916) 397-7589.