Eduardo Gomez Rojas’ Sculpture “The 38th Parallel” Will Be Installed And Dedicated To Korean War Veterans On June 12. Public Is Invited To Ceremony.

An Art in Public Places sculpture by Eduardo Gomez Rojas will grace Veterans Memorial Park in Port St. Lucie to commemorate the heroism of US troops during the Korean War.  Titled, “The 38th Parallel”, the Korean War Veterans Association Treasure Coast Chapter 106 will dedicate this moving memorial on Saturday, June 12, 2021. The Public is invited to the free ceremony.  We are grateful to the anonymous art patron who donated this sculpture. The Rickie Report shares an interview with Eduardo as well as the details of the June 12 event.

 

 

SATURDAY,  JUNE 12, 2021

 

 

10  AM

 

 

Veterans     Memorial     Park

 

 

2100  SE  Veterans Memorial Parkway

        Port St. Lucie, FL  34952

 

 

 

 

 

TRR:  What inspired you to create this memorial sculpture?

 

EG:

In 2006, while I lived in Little Rock, AR I became interested in the Korean war. Arkansas happens to be the birthplace of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II. He administered postwar Japan during the Allied occupation that followed, and led United Nations forces during the first nine months of the Korean War. I became interested in him and decided to make a memorial sculpture about the Korean War. I spent many hours doing research and preparing a maquette for this sculpture.

 

 

TRR: How do the figures in this sculpture represent more than the battle in Korea.

 

EG:

First, I asked a couple of friends, who were war veterans as well as a Korean friend who had a young son, to pose for the sculpture. I used my camera to create various compositions until I found a pose that captured the art concept I wanted to convey. I wanted to memorialize the fact that the Korean war was the first time that black and white soldiers fought side by side. In the sculpture the black soldier watches the white soldier’s back. The white soldier holds a Korean child in his arms. His face shows the urgency of the moment. The child represents the Korean Republic being saved by the American soldiers. Notice that the soldiers are wearing their “winter” uniforms. Our troops suffered tremendously from the coldest weather the region had seen in over forty years.  In contrast, and to dramatize the fragility of the child and the situation, the Korean child is almost naked as he is rescued and brought to safety. For me, this is a powerful statement about how mutual sacrifice helps us learn to live together!

Our individual bodies carry the imprints of our lives and our souls. In my sculptures, form is a vehicle for expressing individual character rather than idealized perfection. Human relationships also inspire me. For this reason, I like making sculptures with multiple figures. I also find inspiration in physical movement. Its grace and its plasticity; even what it may say about our brokenness.

 

 

The human figure in all its aspects and conditions is my main source of inspiration. In it, I see the incredible beauty and perfection of creation as well as the raw reflection of our human condition. Individual uniqueness inspires me. Life affects all humans in a singular way. Therefore, our bodies are a journal of our life and an X-Ray of our soul. I find a raw beauty in this uniqueness and my work attempts to chronicle my own personal perception of this uniqueness. The result can be beautiful but can also be intense and even disturbing.

 

 

On July 26, 1948 U.S. President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, desegregating the armed forces. Truman declared, !there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.” The president acted upon the wishes of many people, black and white, who believed that if African-Americans and other people of color served their country with honor, they should not be subjected to racial discrimination or violence. The struggle for military integration in Korea mirrored similar struggles on the home front.

 

 

Original Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Gomez

 

 

TRR:  What are some other significant meanings that most viewers may not know?

EG:

 

I am originally from Colombia, South America. During my research, I discovered that Colombia was one of only 14 allied nations to send troops to Korea to fight against communism alongside the United States. I am proud of that! The 38th parallel is the popular name given to latitude 38° N that in East Asia roughly demarcates North Korea and South Korea. The line was chosen by U.S. military planners at the Potsdam Conference (July 1945) near the end of World War II as an army boundary, north of which the U.S.S.R. was to accept the surrender of the Japanese forces in Korea and south of which the Americans were to accept the Japanese surrender. The line, intended as a temporary division of the country remains steadfast today.

 

 

 

 

Original Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Gomez

 

 

 

TRR:  Please tell us about your process

EG:

My work always starts in clay because it allows me to quickly develop an idea into a visual concept. I then may finish the work in clay or evolve to casting the work in bronze or other media. This may take months or even years. As you can see from some of the photos, I sculpt from the inside out. I believe that true proportions as well as movement, gesture and clothing folds require that you build on what we call the “surface anatomy” of the subject. I prefer working from life whenever possible because the interaction with the model adds “soul” to the work. I work on many projects at once because they are at different stages of development. I like making portraits, full figure sculptures and reliefs. I don’t follow any particular formula and I don’t sculpt for a particular audience. I do try to be honest and express my true feelings. I leave the psychoanalysis to the psychiatrists. I accept private and public commissions, small to monumental.

 

 

 

Eduardo Gomez Rojas is a local figurative sculptor and teacher. His work”s singular quality is its force and passion. His studio is located in Jensen Beach, Florida. He does public and private commissions from small to monumental. His work is collected internationally. Eduardo Gomez: Silent Messages a book about his work was published in 2009. The book is currently available on Amazon. His main subjects are people and animals. He particularly enjoys sculptural portraiture and memorial sculpture. He is currently a faculty member at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta, Florida and has also taught locally at the Elliott Museum and privately in his own studio. Eduardo moved to Florida from Arkansas in 2007. This sculpture will be Eduardo’s third public sculpture in the Treasure Coast area. The other two, inaugurated on 2017 and 2018 respectively, are located on either side of the American flag at the entrance of the Distinguished Service Memorial Park in Stuart, Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about this sculpture, commissions, classes, workshops and other works of art contact:
Eduardo Gomez

 

Figurative Sculptor

Small to Monumental

Public and Private Commissions

Studio: 953 NE Industrial Blvd    Jensen Beach, Florida, 34957

 

email:eduardogomezsculpture@gmail.com

www.eduardogomez.com

www.eduardogomezgallery.com

 501-765-2609

 

 

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

 

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