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John Bowen’s Artistry Transforms Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale Museum To Preserve History And Honor To Those Who Served

The Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale Museum will showcase the detailed artistry of well-know watercolorist, John Bowen. The Museum is open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, with a special 4th of July picnic!  Everyone is invited! John is a key team member in the Museum’s mission to preserve our history by honoring the men and women who defended our freedom, during WWI, to Korea, and WWII.  Did you know that the infamous Flight 19 departed from here?  That US President George H.W. Bush lived at this base as an Ensign as he trained as a torpedo/bomber pilot?  Be part of the “History Project”, which collects unpublished written memoirs of personal wartime experiences, diaries, maps, drawings, photographs, and letters, that tell the veteran’s story. The Rickie Report shares the details and urges you to take a free tour!

 

 

 

NAVAL AIR STATION FORT LAUDERDALE MUSEUM
National Register of Historic Places   .   A Florida Heritage Site  .  Home of Flight 19

4000 W. Perimeter Road, Ft. Lauderdale,Florida

(954) 359-4400

HOURS: THURSDAY, SATURDAY, & SUNDAY
from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

Free Admission / Free Tours / Pay-what-you-wish tours / Free Parking / Handicap-accessible
This is an all volunteer operation. Donations are appreciated. ​

 

SPECIAL  4TH  OF JULY  PICNIC

11:30 am to 3:30 pm

 

Outside Museum Building: A Marine Corsair and A Navy Avenger. Both planes created from concrete and painted by John Bowen, to enhance the building. Each of the planes are seven feet long.

 

“Bikes at the Art Show” Watercolor by John Bowen, took First Place Award for Watercolor Category in Veteran’s Art Exhibition.

 

John Bowen has been an artist and illustrator for more than 45 years.  He first studied commercial art at the School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey.  After two years of experience in advertising agencies, he entered the United States Air Force as an illustrator.  His duties in the Air Force included a year of documenting airlift operations in South Vietnam, and his illustrations are on display at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  Upon establishing a residence in South Florida, John discovered the many varied landscapes of the state containing the only subtropical climate in the U.S. and the wonderful lighting that Florida’s climate affords.

 

 

John’s background as an illustrator has made him a “detail” watercolorist of the highest order.  His experience allows him to convey the mood and story of the scene through the use of dramatic lighting and vibrant color.  A detailed drawing eventually morphs into a relaxed style of painting.  Working with watercolors has always intrigued John, and the challenge and excitement of this medium has never left him.

 

Red tailed Mustang, created and painted by John Bowen honors an all Black WWIl group of U S Airmen. They flew in the European Theatre. Their main assignment during the war was to escort our bombers during their raids over the continent. They had an outstanding record of protecting the bombers. They had all their plane’s tails painted red so everyone would know who they were and when they were coming! The Memorial Garden, at the Museum, is for Lt. Colonel Gray of the “Red Tail” Squadron.

 

 

 

Photos from the Inauguration of the Zen Garden created by volunteer Veterans & Master Gardeners, in honor of Ray Rivera WWII & Korea Veteran, survivor of the Bunker Hill CV-17.  Original painting was created by artist & Vietnam Vet John Bowen.

John paints to keep Florida’s history alive.  “This is a passion with me,” says the artist.  “I believe in keeping history alive by both painting it and helping to preserve it.”  This he does by donating artwork and Giclee limited edition prints to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida charity art exhibitions of the Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, juried art shows for the Old Davie Schoolhouse Project, and a one-man art exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. He will continue his outdoor show schedule this Fall.

Flight 19 Memorial created and painted by John Bowen is facing the Bermuda Triangle, where the plane and its crew were lost.

John tells The Rickie Report, “Realistic expressionism is how I describe my work.  Capturing a mood, striving to tell a story, intrigued by history, landscapes and themes, these are the inspirations that create my work.  Emphasizing the play of light and shadow as seen in nature.  Describing textures of time written in historic places.  Capturing a moment of history, that sense of space.  These are the feelings I try to express in my paintings.  Each idea is carefully planned from exploration through execution.  Plein air painting, sketching, photography, using whatever means possible to achieve my vision.  Combining both opaque and transparent watercolors on heavy (300 lb) archival paper.  I work patiently, using established principles to create the final piece.  Hoping to express the beauty that inspired me”.  

 

John is a signature member with the Florida Watercolor Society, Gold Coast Watercolor Society and the Delray Art League.  He is available to do Home and Boat Portrait Commissions.  John Bowen can be reached at  954 370-2061.    jbowenartist@aol.com  or www.johnbowenwatercolorist.com

 

More about the Museum:

National Register of Historic Places.  A Florida Heritage Site.
Our mission is to develop and maintain a national and internationally recognized naval aviation museum that educates young and old alike, to preserve history by honoring the memory of Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale and the men & women who defended freedom during World War II.

 

The Museum has been instrumental in preserving the memory of Flight 19, one of the great aviation mysteries. Flight 19 flew out of NAS Fort Lauderdale on 5 December 1945, to vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. In addition, 19 year old future US President George H. W. Bush lived at this base as an Ensign, to train as a torpedo/bomber pilot.  From October 1942 to October 1946 the base would train pilots and thousands of aircrewmen from the U.S and other countries. In December 1999, the building was relocated to its permanent site at 4000 West Perimeter Rd., 2 blocks west from its original location.

 

 

On Exhibit:

  • Link Trainer Flight Simulator: historic mechanical & engineering landmark.
  • Recreated Soldier’s Barracks: The George Bush Room.
  • 25×7 naval aviation mural signed by President George H.W. Bush, John McCain, RADM Moffit, and Medal of Honor Vietnam Gary Littrell.
  • Original paintings, cartoons, lithographs, drawings, and photographs.
  • “Broward Goes To War”  Exhibit:  the war years of 1941-1945.
  • Flight 19: collection of letters, photos, artifacts, books, videos,  & displays.
  • Vintage ship & aircraft models, WWII artifacts, teaching props, flight gear, ship plaques, medals, insignia, uniforms representing all branches of the military.
  • Online-Only Exhibits: take a tour of our
  • John Payne Memorial Library: 3,000+ volumes from military history, personal memoirs, war diaries, aviator log books, veteran’s letters, cruise books, war postcard albums, magazines, and world war II newsletters.
  • Photography collection: 10,000+ images of aircraft, ships, people, naval history, technical manuals, photos of artworks, and a military video library.
  • Outdoor artifacts include WWII torpedoes from a submarine, and TBM/TBF Avenger, an anti-aircraft gun, and an anti-submarine Hedgehog.  
  • Veterans History Project: WWI & WWII collection of Veteran’s Stories.
  • Award winning Butterfly Garden with a Flight 19 memorial. 
  • Take the 360 degree Google Video tour.
  • virtual exhibits.

 

The History Project:

The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum collects and preserves personal stories and other documents from World War II Veterans, with the purpose of building a lasting legacy of preserving history for generations to come. This History Project collects unpublished written memoirs of personal wartime experiences. We welcome diaries, collections of letters, and photographs that tell the veteran’s story.  Maps, drawings, and other documents are also welcome. We don’t have to keep your originals as the artifacts can be scanned, or photographed, and shared this way via e-mails. This project was started in 2010, with the introduction of NASFL Museum founder Allan McElhiney, who was a sailor in World War II.  This Gallery of Veterans is not in chronological order, rather it follows a date of completion by NASFL Museum curators.  If you are interested in sharing a Veteran’s story, or your family’s military history, please go to www.nasflmuseum.com

 

You can visit Museum on Thursday, Saturday, & Sunday

– Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
– Business Hours: Thursday, Saturday, & Sunday from 11:30am to 3:30pm
– Last tour is at 2:30pm (no need for reservations but it’s best to be there between 11:30 and 2pm for best timing).
– Depending on your time, and level of interest, a tour can go from 10 mins to 3 hours. It’s up to you.
– After tours, people are welcome to linger around and take photos, enjoy their time in the library, watch videos, or explore the garden areas.
– This is an all volunteer operation. For tours of more than 5 people in your party, a donation of $5 per person is appreciated (members are always free). You can also Pay-what-you-wish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

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