South Palm Beach Resident - Historical Aviation Artist - Rick Herter

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
Published in Arts & Culture

Palm Beach is laden with notable residents from political figures, entertainers, moguls of industry and distinguished artistic people of all experiences. One such notable resident of South Palm Beach is Rick Herter, Historical Aviation Artist. Herter has pieces hanging in the Smithsonian Institute, the Pentagon, the World Trade Center Museum and countless other esteemed locales.

Rick Herter graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Arts in which he garnered his artistic skills and focused in the commercial art and illustration arena. Continuously intrigued with aviation and his passion for painting, the artist’s first commemorative air show poster won a national award. The following season, the artist was commissioned to create work for shows in Pittsburgh, Denver and Cleveland. In 1987 Rick was invited to become a participating artist in the elite Air Force Art Program. The AFAP, under the office of the Secretary of the Air Force, was created in the 1950’s using the talents of select artists to document Air Force activities and history worldwide.

In 1990, Rick was awarded the prestigious American Spirit Award by Air Force Recruiting. The award is Air Force Recruiting Service ‘s highest form of civilian recognition. Through the late 80’s and early 90’s, Herter’s client list began to grow. The artist’s work has hung in numerous private and public collections worldwide. Some of those collections include the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, The Air Force Academy, the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon. His list of Corporate clients reads like a who’s who of the aerospace industry; The Boeing Co., Rolls Royce, G.E. Aerospace, Gulfstream, Delta Air Lines and UPS are just a few of his corporate collectors. Besides the U.S. Defense Department, his work has been commissioned for the armed forces of Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Kuwait and Greece. An exceptional historical project of Herter’s was the recent completion of the world’s largest indoor hand-painted mural. The mural, located at the AIR ZOO in Kalamazoo, Michigan, measures 32′ high by 900′ long and tells the story of flight. The mural is 29,000 square feet and listed in the Guinness Record Book as the world’s largest indoor hand painted mural.

The artist’s travels have taken him around the world from the Orient and Europe to nations in the Middle East. In the spring of 2003, the artist logged combat flight time by flying missions with Air Force units during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His flight experiences have included classic aircraft like the P-51 Mustang to modern day fighters including the F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. Herter has flown on missions overseas in B-52’s and soared over the Alps with the German Air Force in F-4 Phantoms. He has flown low level in Army attack helicopters and accompanied the first combat units into Haiti for Operation Restore Democracy. Rick has flown on numerous combat training missions with Air Force and Naval Fighter units worldwide.

To discuss historical aviation art or inquire about a custom piece of aviation artwork, please visit Rick Herter Art.



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