Tuskegee art professor commissioned to paint T-100 artwork

Updated: Aug. 30, 2017 at 9:50 PM CDT
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Community support is building as Macon County waits to see if LeonardoDRS will win an Air Force contract to build the T-100 training jets. The plant would be at Moton Field where the Tuskegee Airman once flew.

One artist is putting his skills to work to help the efforts. Ronald McDowell is a man of few words, but give him a drawing pad and that changes.

"I speak through my art work," said McDowell.

From portraits to sculptures, most of his art is inspired by living things.

"A lot of times when I do artwork it just happens through the love of what I'm doing and the passion I have," said McDowell.

McDowell is a professor at Tuskegee University. Recently he was commissioned as the artist to illustrate the hope and optimism surfacing with the possibility of Leonardo DRS building a plant in Tuskegee.

"This it's an opportunity and also a reward," said McDowell.

A preliminary sketch of the artwork has been started. It highlights the history of the Tuskegee Airman and what's possible in the future.

The painting is expected to be finished by October. In December the Air Force is expected to announce if Moton field will be the place where the T-100, next generation jet trainer, is assembled.

"We are now at a point has all the technical data. Now it's all about activism," said Joe Turnham, Director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.

Turnham said what McDowell is doing shows the power of taking ownership.

"This is an inspiration not just to the T-100 project, but how people give of themselves and their talents for future generations," he said.

Right now it is being determined if prints of the painting will be sold.

For more information on Ronald McDowell visit this link and to learn more about the T-100 campaign visit this link.

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