When Dorothy Swain Lewis unveiled her fourth bronze sculpture of a Woman Airforce Service Pilot at the USAF Academy in 1997, the artist was honoring her sister pilots of World War II and depicting the life that they all devoted in service to our country. Dot Swain Lewis served as a WASP, teaching flying to other WASP and taking to the cockpits of the P-39, P-40 fighters and the B-26 Martin Marauder.
Her sculptures commemorate the bravery, patriotism, and courage of the women who were our country's first female military pilots. The quintessential teacher, she instructed Navy pilots for WWII and many students after the war. Dot also taught horsemanship. A mare that she trained was named Model Hunter, the best at the prestigious New York City Horse Show.
Dot taught science and art at two outstanding schools: The Orme School, Arizona, and Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, California. Her founding of the ongoing annual Fine Arts Festival at Orme, now in its 30th year, is another of her greatest legacies. Dot's love of art has sustained her, and she is accomplished in several genre. Her bronze statues grace Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Texas), the Confederate Air Force Museum (Midland, Texas), the U.S. Air Force Museum, and the Honor Court of the U.S. Air Force Academy. How could Dorothy Swain Lewis be anything but the creative and successful woman that she is? Born into a musical and intellectual family in Asheville, North Carolina, Dot's mother was a concert pianist, her uncle received a Pulitzer Prize for his musical compositions, her father was a respected judge, and her brother became a State Senator - Dot was born to excel. In her every achievement, how high she flies!