Dowagiac artist to hold art unveiling next week

Published 8:11 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Artist Rick Herter may travel the globe with his art, but he will always be able to call Dowagiac home.

Rick is described as an artist with a pilot’s soul. Rick grew up with a sketchpad in hand and took his first airplane ride on his 13th birthday. That first air adventure, with a former World War II bomber pilot at the controls, would make a lasting impression on the young artist.

After graduating from Spring Arbor University with a bachelor’s degree in art in 1984, he took his artistic skills and began working in the commercial art and illustration arena.

However, Herter’s interest in aviation was never far away.

Rick Herter

Rick Herter

Rick approached the air show director of an annual Michigan air show offering to create a commemorative air show poster. That first poster went on to win a national award and, 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 1950s using the talents of select artists who volunteered their time to document Air Force activities and history worldwide.

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, NASA, Artrain, the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon. His list of corporate clients reads like a “Who’s Who” of the aerospace industry: Boeing, Rolls Royce, General Electric, Aerospace, Gulfstream, Delta Air Lines and UPS.

A very unique and historical project of Rick’s has been the recent completion of the world’s largest indoor, hand-painted mural. The mural, located at the AIR ZOO in Kalamazoo, measures 32 feet high by 900 feet long and tells the story of flight. The mural is 29,000 square feet and according to the folks at the Guinness Book will soon be included in the record book.

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of an anonymous local family, Rick will now add another collection location to his list. The limited addition piece entitled “DFC Over Bagdad” will be the next addition to the permanent collection of art at the Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival.

Join the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival for the unveiling at an open house as they introduce this artwork to the public. Stop by the Dogwood Festival Gallery at its headquarters in the Huntington Bank Building at 207 Commercial Street, on Wednesday, March 26, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Stop by for some light refreshments, enjoy the newest addition to the gallery exhibit and pick up your schedule of events for the May Festival.

For more information about the Festival, sponsorship opportunities or events, call 269-782-1115 or visit