Having served in the US Air Force for 24 years, and my wife serving 10 years, we’re familiar with making friends and then sending them off to their next adventure. One of the challenges for us entailed finding the right PCS-gift for the upcoming farewell gathering. Plaques are nice but they tend to accumulate in a worn box adorned with different colored moving stickers….right?
As my wife and I press on with our second careers, we still have several boxes of plaques, but as we decorate our new offices, we still reached for the artwork pieces which remind us of those we served with. If you are honoring someone who served at the Air Force Research Laboratory, 88th Air Base Wing, Air Force Material Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, 445th Air Base Wing, Air Force Institute of Technology, the AF Installation Contracting Agency, we think these Wright-Patterson AFB Retirement Gifts or Farewell Gifts are for you.
Although we’ve only been back in the Dayton area for 4 years, we have a host of prints that represent Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the region’s rich aviation heritage.
"Huffman Prairie Twilight” is my best-selling print! When people pass by my art fair tent, invariably, this print draws them in and starts a conversation. I had a retiree from the Air Force Research Labs pass through my home a couple of months ago. He was holiday shopping for a specific nature print for his wife and recalled seeing my work in a local gallery. As he started to leave, he saw a familiar print in the adjacent room. His team had selected “Huffman Prairie Twilight” as their retirement gift to him. Until that coincidental moment, he was unaware I was the photographer, but the experience led to another great conversation.
Huffman Prairie serves as the epicenter of aviation. Following their 17 Dec 1903 demonstration, the Wright Bros set up operations in this field conducting 150 flights in 1904-1905 which refined the mastery of flight. Today the prairie resides on Wright-Patterson AFB which is home to the 445th Airlift Wing. On this evening, the wing’s C-17s take to the evening skies as a colorful sunset burst over the Miami Valley.
“Golden Hour Over Huffman Prairie No. 2 and No. 6” represents two more popular prints. One version of this print is 8’ wide in the lobby of the Kettering Cancer Center. Also a couple of months ago, I had two friends inquire about the various places my artwork resides. They shared who they were sitting in the waiting room and pondered who this large print emulated my style.
Following their 17 Dec 1903 demonstration, the Wright Brothers set up research in this field conducting 150 flights in 1904-1905 which refined the mastery of flight. Today we call this former pasture the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and a National Historic Landmark. Although the prairie resides on Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio it is preserved by the National Park Service in partnership with the Aviation Trail Inc. who promotes Dayton’s Aviation Heritage. In this image, late afternoon thunderstorms began dissipating allowing the day’s last rays to paint this historic land in warm golden colors.
“Fair Day Over Wright Flyer Sculpture No. 1” is another popular print. There are four stainless steel sculptures of early Wright Brothers airplanes, each representing a different model of the Wright Flyer. This 1909 Wright Flyer greets visitors who pass through Gate 1B on their way to AFRL or the SPOs at the bottom of the hill.
The Wright Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association at Wright-Patterson AFB celebrates Dayton’s favorite sons by commissioning a stainless-steel sculpture of the 1909 Wright Flyer. A bronze statue of Wilbur Wright sits upright at the Flyer’s controls as a second statue of Orville stands to the right of the aircraft. Larry Godwin, the artist from Brundidge AL, presented the “Wright Flyer Memorial” on 2 Aug 2003, which was 94 years to the day after the original 1909 was accepted as the first military airplane. This sculpture which resides at WPAFB’s Gate 1B and Springfield St on this perfect day, appears to have just taken flight into a blue azure sky filled with a few cumulus clouds.
I normally produce these prints in three sizes, 11” x 18”, 20” x 32”, or 30” x 48”. My favored format entails selling these images as framed giclee canvas prints which come ready to hang. I cover the back of these prints in black paper which can serve as space for farewell wishes. These prints are produced using Canon Lucia Pigments which are rated for 100 years. If you prefer a photo paper print, we can custom print one for you which sets you up for custom matting and framing. Since I already use Dayton Art Solutions in Kettering Ohio, I’m willing to meet you there as you customize your framing options which save you a couple of trips around town.
Don’t forget the spouse! Maybe the ideas above solve your challenge for the military member, but how are you going to honor the spouse….another cookbook?!?! Consider a different approach, where a spouse's farewell gift entails giving them something that reminds them of their favored Miami Valley spot. Perhaps the spouse is an avid outdoor enthusiast? If so, we have many prints from our awesome local parks. Maybe they earned a college degree while in the Dayton area? We offer pretty campus scenes from the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Cedarville University, Miami University, and more. For these prints, navigate to the school’s county via the pull-down menu or just use the search function on the upper left of my webpage. Another popular spouse gift entails seasonal prints of their Miami Valley wedding venue. Although they already have wedding photos from their spring wedding, consider a print capturing their special spot during a stunning summer sunset or pretty fall day. Again, sales via my art fair tent prove this is a frequent reason for purchasing my prints.
Hopefully, we’ve solved some problems for you but if you have lingering questions, just call/text (937-317-0170) or email ([email protected]). I work from home and can make about anything happen. Assuming you already live in the Dayton area, please call me first vice ordering from the web. Where my website already has shipping prices built in, if you live in the Miami Valley, we can save you some money by meeting face-to-face instead of including shipping costs. Good luck!