The Art of Aviation: A Docuseries to Follow

The Art of Aviation is a documentary series that highlights the lives and work of aviation artists. Throughout history, wartime artists have been deployed to capture conflicts and given permission to share through their own eyes, the stories of some of the most critical moments in recorded history.

"Mission from Taegu" - This painting by Gil Cohen shows the F-84Es of the 158th Fighter Bomber Squadron operating at the FOB Taegu Air Base during the Korean War.
"Mission from Taegu" - This painting by Gil Cohen shows the F-84Es of the 158th Fighter Bomber Squadron operating at the FOB Taegu Air Base during the Korean War.


In the world of aviation, there lies a realm of artistry that transcends the mechanical and dives deep into the emotional fabric of human history. Documentarian Jodi Goren-Rode’s upcoming docuseries, The Art of Aviation, promises to unravel the hidden narratives behind this art form, bringing to light the profound stories of artists who have captured the essence of aviation on canvas.

"The Ditching"- This painting by Gil Cohen shows a downed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as its crew escapes into the water.
“The Ditching”- This painting by Gil Cohen shows a downed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as its crew escapes into the water.

At the heart of this series is Jodi Goren-Rode’s cousin, Gil Cohen, a modern master of aviation art whose work can be found in museums and private collections worldwide. Cohen’s journey from a drafted Army artist during the Cold War to a celebrated illustrator and professor speaks volumes about the intersection of art, history, and aviation. His paintings, often depict poignant moments of human experience, extend beyond the representation of planes and provide a window into the lives of the men and women in the aviation industry. From nurses and engineers to pilots and WASP’s, Cohen’s artwork illuminates the contributions of the unsung heroes of aviation history.

"Gil Cohen Interview" - Gil Cohen, renown Aviation Artist, pictured as he is interviewed in his studio.
“Gil Cohen Interview” – Gil Cohen, renown Aviation Artist, pictured as he is interviewed in his studio.

Jodi’s fascination with aviation and art is not just personal but driven by a profound understanding of the importance of preserving the firsthand accounts of wartime artists. As the executive producer puts it, these wartime artists “created a window into the lives of soldiers fighting while stationed all over the world. The goal of The Art of Aviation is to immortalize these artists and their narratives before they are lost to time.”

The series promises a unique perspective on history, showcasing aviation artists who played a crucial role in documenting wartime conflicts and the history of American air supremacy. Through interviews, painting sessions, re-enactments, and live studio walkthroughs, viewers will be immersed in the art, connecting more intimately with the history these paintings recorded. The series also delves into the significant contributions of aviation artists to war efforts, including intelligence collection and combat observation.

"Keith Ferris Interview" - Keith Ferris, co-founder of the American Society of Aviation Artists, pictured as he is interviewed in his studio.
“Keith Ferris Interview” – Keith Ferris, co-founder of the American Society of Aviation Artists, pictured as he is interviewed in his studio.

What sets this docuseries apart is its commitment to education and awareness. By bringing in museum curators, aviation art collectors, veterans, and authors, The Art of Aviation aims to shed light not only on the artists but also on the field of combat and aviation artistry itself. Many may have encountered Gil Cohen’s art without realizing it, given his extensive career as a freelance illustrator and painter for various prestigious clients, such as Paramount Pictures, Boeing, Sikorsky, Harlequin Books, and Random House.
Jodi Goren-Rode seeks to shed light on this often-overlooked aspect of history, showcasing the multifaceted role these artists played in shaping the narratives of wartime events. By exploring the stories behind their art, the series aims to forge a connection between the audience and the often-unseen heroes of aviation art.

"Farewell Old Friends" - This painting by Keith Ferris depicts two Convair F-106A "Delta Darts" and two subsonic Lockheed T-33 "T-Birds" of the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Griffis AFB, New York, meeting in a 1986 training intercept high in the cloudscape above New York.
“Farewell Old Friends” – This painting by Keith Ferris depicts two Convair F-106A “Delta Darts” and two subsonic Lockheed T-33 “T-Birds” of the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Griffis AFB, New York, meeting in a 1986 training intercept high in the cloudscape above New York.

The Art of Aviation is not just a visual journey but an exploration of the impact of art on understanding our shared history. Jodi’s passion for her subject matter is evident as she introduces the broader vision for the series. She envisions it as a platform to raise awareness for veterans and the field of aviation artistry. The series aims to be a tribute to these artists who have not only documented history but pioneered an art form.

Additionally, The Art of Aviation extends beyond the screen with an impact campaign, Canvas of Courage (WT). Recognizing the healing power of art, the campaign is in development to support veterans receiving Art Therapy. A percentage of donations will be dedicated to this cause, creating a tangible and positive impact beyond the documentary’s reach. We aim to use our contacts in the Aviation Art industry to partner with Military Art Therapy programs to provide art classes. These classes will enrich the experience of veterans and will be taught by our Aviation Artists as a supplement to Military Art Therapy, focusing on the use of colors, composition, and general painting techniques.

As we endeavor to bring these untold stories to life, we invite you to become a crucial part of our mission. We are currently fundraising for this project through our fiscal sponsors, The Greater Philadelphia Film Office and From the Heart Productions. Your support is not just a donation; it’s an investment in preserving the invaluable narratives of aviation artists who risked everything to document critical moments in history.

New York. "Republic F84-E Thunderjet" - This painting by Keith Ferris highlights the F-84 Thunderjet, which earned significant acclaim during the Korean War, achieving prominence initially as a fighter-bomber tasked with escorting B-29s during extended missions over North Korea.
“Republic F84-E Thunderjet” – This painting by Keith Ferris highlights the F-84 Thunderjet, which earned significant acclaim during the Korean War, achieving prominence initially as a fighter-bomber tasked with escorting B-29s during extended missions over North Korea.

The Art of Aviation will be more than just a docuseries—it’s a celebration of the intersection of art, history, and aviation. By bringing these artists and their stories to the forefront, Goren-Rode invites audiences to explore a realm where brushstrokes become a bridge to the past. It’s an opportunity to engage with history in a way that is both educational and emotionally resonant, making The Art of Aviation a must-watch for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and art connoisseurs alike.

 

To support this project with a donation, click HERE.

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