Docent Combines Talent and Passion in New EAA Aviation Museum Exhibit

By Kayla Floyd, EAA 879397

A walk through the EAA Aviation Museum is filled with different types of aviation delights. From airplanes, to engines, to artifacts from astronauts, the museum has an array of exhibits to fit everyone’s interests. A week before the museum recently reopened to the public, artist and EAA docent Lawrence A. Jankowski, EAA 783938, gave EAA the chance to display some of the paintings he has created over the years. This gallery, which Lawrence calls “Portraits of Epic Flights”, is displayed near the Borman exhibit on the first floor of the museum.

Lawrence, also called Larry, has always had a love for aviation as well as a love for the arts. Growing up, Larry’s detail-loving personality led to him working on jet propulsion where his skills were best put to use. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, Larry enrolled in art school at the Milwaukee Area Technical College where he earned an associate’s degree in commercial art. He went on to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. After completing his education, he went on to work in commercial art where he picked up the skills of many different disciplines. Larry found he would use these basics learned at work to express his love for aviation history.

The collection now hanging in the museum is meant for people to see into the eyes of the flyer, to place themselves in the scenario, and even become the copilot. The stories shared through the paintings express both fears of failure and the joys of success. To quote from Larry’s own artistic statement, look at each painting and think, “Come on in, get comfortable, and allow me to share with you my story.”

The series started with the portrait of Amelia Earhart and covers many areas such as female pilots, prominent aviators of different races, and even the feeling of coming home from war. Larry’s goal is to “celebrate the history and the men and women who paved the way to preserving peace and freedom, and for the pure joy of flight.”

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