|2007 Banquet Speaker
|Captian Ed Dwight
|Test Pilot and Astronuat Trainee
A man whose resume reads: former Air Force Test Pilot,
America's first African American Astronaut Trainee, computer
systems engineer, aviation consultant, restauranteur, real estate developer, and construction entrepreneur can best be described
as a true "renaissance man". Ed Dwight has succeeded in all these areas. However, for the last twenty five years Ed has focused
his direction on fine art and sculpture projects. Since his art career began in 1976, Dwight has become one of most prolific
and insightful sculptors in America.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Ed left in 1953 to join the U.S. Air Force. After basic and pilot training, he served as a military
pilot and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State
University. In 1961, Dwight was chosen by President John F.
Kennedy to enter training to become the first Black astronaut. After completing Experimental Test Pilot School, he entered
the Aerospace Research Pilot Course and qualified as an astronaut.
Ed's first serious artistic endeavor began with a
commission to create a sculpture of George Brown, Colorado's first Black Lt. Governor. This was soon followed by a second commission by the Colorado Centennial
Commission; A series of bronzes entitled "Black Frontier Spirit in the American West" which depicted the contribution of African
Americans to the opening of the West. Few facts were known about Black pioneers, explorers, trappers, farmers, and soldiers,
so Ed, using his unique artistic style, opened the minds of viewers to this unknown history of the American West. The series
of 30 bronzes was on exhibit for several years through-out the U.S., and gained widespread acceptance and critical acclaim.
After Ed's notable "Black Frontier Spirit Series,"
at the behest of the National Park Service in St. Louis, he began to explore the history of Jazz in America, as a significant Black contribution to the culture
of America. He studied the African culture and ancestral imagery
and found that an African's life in America was music as an art form. This led to Ed's study of his next major series of bronzes, "Jazz: An
American Art Form". This series depicts the evolution of jazz music from its roots in Africa to the contemporary jazz superstars of the jazz era, and focuses on this style as a pure American
musical idiom. Elements of the Jazz series are on display at major galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and has received critical acceptance internationally.
This series of over 70 bronzes features many works focusing on the African tribal contributions, then presents such great
jazz performers as Mile Davis, Charlie Parker, "Satchmo" Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.
Ed's childhood dream was to be an artist, however,
his life experiences really shaped him into the prolific artist he is today. His company, Ed Dwight Studios, Inc., has developed
into one of the largest single artist production and marketing facilities in the Western U.S. His innate ability to create life and breathe soul and mobility into his works, provides collectors
with a unique and spectacular work that involves the viewer in the creative process. The "negative space" concept, which was
developed by Ed early in his career, can be seen throughout his Jazz Series. This concept has been emulated by many artists,
and today is commonplace in the art universe. Today Ed is moving into new areas, still creating new concepts in art while
continuing to enchant the public with his unique gift of story telling through his hands, as a sculptor.
Ed has been inundated with public art projects throughout
the country. He unveiled four major monuments in 2001 including the first bi-national monument in Detroit, MI and Windsor, Canada dedicated to the International Underground Railroad
Movement; the African
American History Monument on the Capitol Grounds in Columbia, SC, and a memorial to the first Black legislator in
Ohio, George Washington Williams, installed in the State
Capitol in Columbus, OH.
He has created the largest memorial
to date, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Denver, CO. It contains 22 sculpture images and includes much of Dr. King’s
rich legacy. This was followed by the first Dr. King Memorial in the State of Maryland. Ed’s most recent unveiling was the Soldier’s Memorial, on the campus of Lincoln University, in Jefferson
City. MO. It is composed of eight sculptural elements honoring the Black Civil War soldiers of the 62nd & 65th Infantry Regiments that founded Lincoln University.
WESTERN BUFFALO SOLDIERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
ANNUAL BANQUET AND FUNDRAISER
Inn Suites Hotel Ballroom
475 North Granada Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705
Time: 7:00 to 11:00 P.M.
Special Guest: Sculpter Ed Dwight
Honorees: Veterans who served from 1966 to 1975
Live Band & Vocalists, Silent
Auction, Art Exhibit
Attire: Western, late 1800’S to present or old fashion attire
Cost: Tickets $40 per person, $400.00 per table
Dinner: Western BBQ Chicken and Baby
Deadline: All tickets must be purchased by 5 October. 2007
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call XXX-XXXX or write
1201 E. Michigan St. Tucson, Arizona 85714 for tickets.
Make checks payable to Western B.S.A, Inc.
Name _____________Rank______ Branch Served______ Period______
Address________________ City________ State _____ Zip____
Number of tickets___ Numbers of tables____ amount enclosed
Veterans must register by 28 September 2007 to be included in our Program.
A block of room has been
set a side at a special rate. Please call the Inn Suites at 520-622-3000 for reservations. Space is limited. You must reserve your room by 28 September