Stencel Featured in American Artists Magazine
The following article will appear in the
May issue of The American Artists Magazine. This is a national
publication with a circulation of over 160,000. Each month the magazine
profiles a prominent artist in his/her field and delves into their
activities. We were granted permission to share it with you before it
went to press.
Paintings Presented To Air Force
During 60th Anniversary Art Exhibit
Stewart Wavell-Smith, Robert Powers (OSI),
2006 USAF Art Program Turnover Bolling Air Force Base
with Stencel's painting "OSI Bucket Brigade- Operation Enduring Freedom"
The Air Force's top leader
opened up the 60th Anniversary Art Exhibit at the Pentagon on Oct. 19
with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"We have a wonderful heritage," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael
W. Wynne to the crowd of more than 60 people, to include Air Force Art
Program artists, who were standing between corridors five and six on the
Pentagon's first floor. "The celebration of our Airmen's work is
captured here in the celebration of great artistry."
Along the halls of the corridors hung the works of several artists from
over the years. Watercolors depicted aircraft in flight and Airmen
working alongside each other. Outside of the corridors, in the
Pentagon's courtyard, sat two vehicles covered with custom painting.
The Air Force Art Program began in 1950 when the U.S. Army transferred
about 800 works of art documenting the early Army Air Corps to the Air
Force. Around the same time, General Curtis LeMay began a "portrait"
Stencel presented 4 paintings to the Secretary of The Air Force,
including one from his trip to OEF/Bagram with the Office of Special
Investigation (OSI). He has been a member of thithe Air Force Art
Program for 4 years, and has donated 6 paintings to date. While on these
missions he was deployed in a "combat" zone. Artists in this program
"donate" their art to the USAF.
The 4 images shown below are the pieces Stencel donated this year
reflecting the official missions he was sent on, from the last overseas
deployment of Milwaukee's 440th ALW, Hurricane Katrina, Operation
Enduring Freedom/OSI, and his tribute to the USAF's 60th Anniversary.
Prints of "Hats Off To The
Air Force" are planned for 2007. Check back here for announcements
regarding its availability and pricing.
Stencel WINS U.S. NAVY ART AWARD
Tony Stencel's work, "Hats Off to Naval Aviation", was given the honor of
receiving a Third Place award in the nationally recognized National Museum of
Aviation Juried Art Exhibition 2006 Show.
In 2004 Stencel received a Merit Award in the same show and set his
improving his techniques and developing his understanding of the
tradition of Naval Aviation in order to attain a higher award.
Stencel says, "I'm pleased to
be awarded this prize, and will continue my pursuit of excellence in
the art of Naval Aviation. I hope I did justice to to Naval
Aviation and all of it's members who have so proudly served in
defense of this great Nation."
Please visit the museum's website at
for information. Their site does not yet show the newest award, but
link to the
museum itself. Please support this great museum and the wonderful art
Prints of this award-winning work are available here
Back From Afghanistan
Tony has just concluded a 2 week tour in Afghanistan in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to document the
mission of the United States Air Force's Office Of Special
Investigations (visit their website
here) in Afghanistan, and was attached to a unit that combats
terrorism through the use of counter-intelligence and special
Stencel was privileged to travel with these "quiet
warriors" on a mission that resulted in the destruction of 2 former
Soviet weapons caches.
These weapons have been used to to construct IED
(improvised explosive devices), so any reclamation of these pieces of
ordinance is one less weapon in the enemies hands.
Stencel believes that the operations of the OSI are an
integral part of the War On Terrorism, and his future art, which will
become part of the USAF Permanent Art Collection in 2006, will reflect
the sacrifice and devotion these "silent warriors" are contributing to
the security of our country.
Stencel experienced first hand, what the OEF combatant is
going through, and can now call himself an official "combat
The following photographs are just a few images of the
over 400+ Stencel took on this assignment.
Air Force artist captures Hurricane Katrinaâ€™s devastation
Artwork to be donated to the USAF in 2006
By LISA M. REED - GM Today Staff
September 26, 2005
OCONOMOWOC - Air Force artist Tony Stencel said the devastation of
Hurricane Katrina is like a tornado multiplied by 1 million.
"The sights and the smells I will never forget," he said. "What I saw
was indescribable. Everything was decimated from the damage."
The Oconomowoc artist was chosen by the U.S. Air Force to document the
humanitarian and relief efforts of the Air Force at Keesler Air Force
Base in Biloxi, Miss., and the surrounding areas.
He was in the area Sept. 14 through Sept. 17, working 12-hour days.
"From the airport, I was just beginning to realize the vast devastation.
Articles of clothing were on wire fences, and what used to be houses
were slabs, and driveways were covered with sand," said Stencel, who
took about 300 photographs of the destruction.
The helicopter from which he was taking photographs was so close to
standing water that water was shooting up at it. Stencel could see
alligators and blowflies, which signaled dead bodies nearby.
"It was bizarre that old stately mansions were wiped out and the
historical loss that occurred. Every 13th home or so was untouched," he
said. "People lost birth certificates, wedding licenses, photos,
uniforms, all possessions."
The danger that people face now is gasoline and raw sewage in the water
of the streets.
"I had to wear rubber gloves and donâ€™t dare touch anything," said
Stencel, who is still trying to absorb what he saw in Biloxi.
All types of government and law enforcement agencies are helping with
the relief efforts. Funeral services and grief counseling are set up at
a Salvation Army tent. Military personnel are at street corners and at
checkpoints. On base, there was a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The base, home to the 81st Training Wing, sustained $900 million in
damage, and 95 percent of the baseâ€™s infrastructure was affected by
Stencel was part of a seven-person team on assignment to document the
Lt. Col Steve Murray of the 81st TRW Public Affairs Crisis Action Team
at Keesler AFB said the team watched, observed, learned and took lots of
notes and photographs they will use as a reference to paint different
things they thought were noteworthy in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina. They will focus on the people who were affected by the
"I look forward to seeing the results of their fruits and labor," Murray
"The devastation was phenomenal," Stencel said. "What I saw and felt as
an artist was the commitment, compassion and dedication of people. To
me, it was unprecedented. People lost everything they had, but yet they
went out into the community and helped others. Thatâ€™s what I am going to
capture with my art."
Stencelâ€™s artwork will be presented to the secretary of the Air Force in
2006. Although he is not paid for his art, Stencel is given the rank of
colonel and expenses are covered by the Air Force.
Stencel is scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in late October.
Lisa M. Reed can be reached at [email protected]
This story appeared in the Waukesha Freeman on September 24, 2005.
August 23, 2005 - The new issue of Aviation History
hit the streets a few days ago. This information-packed magazine
features a column by Dick Smith called the "Art of Flight" in which he
isolates a moment or scene in history and describes it, accompanied by a
relevant piece of artwork. This month's column features art by Tony
Stencel. The magazine is $3.99 at the newsstand. Take a look to find out
Tony Stencel meets
with General Robin Olds at this years EAA, and presents
him with the patch from the Midwest Air Force Artist group, designed by
Stencel and Schweitzer.
Stencel and Dave Schweitzer were able to meet the General, who flew 152
missions as a Wing Commander. He is credited with 13 air-to-air and 11.5
air-to-ground kills and is a World War II through Vietnam veteran.
Artist Anthony M Stencel was recently featured on Milwaukee's Channel 12
news. As a member of the Air Force Art Program, he is awaiting
deployment to Iraq where he will be embedded with troops at a triage
unit north of Baghdad. The sketches and photographs he will create there
will be the basis for future paintings, at least one of which will be
presented to the Air Force at a formal ceremony in 2006.
This follows an interview published in the
Waukesha Freeman which also focused on Stencel's upcoming assignment.
His dedication to honoring "Those Who Have Served" has attracted
national attention to his artwork.
May 20th, 2005 from 7-10 PM
528D Wells Street
An artist reception and signing to kick off Stencel's "Hat's Off" series
will be held at at the Imagine!That Gallery. This is being held in
conjunction with Gallery Night in Delafield.
June 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2005
RECLAIMING OUR HERITAGE 2005
Milwaukee Soldiers Home/VA Grounds
5000 West National Avenue
This event will included an exhibit of Stencel's work and the artist will
be there for signing. Also featured will be the artist's new open
edition posters. For event information please visit
The following article was
published in the Waukesha Freeman regarding Stencel's upcoming
assignment in Iraq. We would like to thank the Freeman for allowing us
to include the article here...
Oconomowoc artist honors those who
serve in military
Stencel will tour Iraq next month
By KEVIN PASSON
OCONOMOWOC Military historian and artist Tony Stencel brings a unique
perspective to his works, through his uncommon combination of artistic
talent and military service.
"My passion is to tell the story of the soldier, from a soldier's point
of view," said Stencel, 45. "You will often hear a veteran say, 'If you
weren't there, you'll never know ...' so, in essence, this is what I'm
trying to capture in my paintings."
As a selected artist with the U.S. Air Force Art Program, Stencel will
be flown to Iraq sometime in late February or early March, where he will
be embedded with troops at a triage unit north of Baghdad. The sketches
and photographs he will have taken there will be the basis for future
paintings, at least one of which will be presented to the Air Force at a
formal ceremony in 2006.
"The actions and deeds of Air Force men and women are recorded in
paintings by eminent American artists in a way that words could never
tell," Stencel said. "These paintings are both historical and
educational. The Air Force does not dictate what we are to paint, or the
The art program, which began in 1950, has amassed more than 8,000 pieces
of art, mostly paintings, that document aircraft, people, battles and
locations significant to Air Force history.
The first 800 or so paintings were donated to the Air Force collection
by the Army when the program first began. The remainder of the works
were done mostly at the request of the Air Force and were donated to the
collection by the artists themselves.
The Air Force Art Program does not buy art. Rather, the program
coordinates with various agencies to get artists out of the studio and
in the field, embedding them with Air Force units so they can
photograph, sketch and collect other source material they will need to
produce a painting. The Air Force essentially sends them on a
temporary-duty assignment for the purpose of producing art.
Stencel said his paintings must be historically accurate, sometimes
taking hundreds of hours of research before beginning a project.
"I strive to create historically accurate, yet human, depictions of
military life, from the home front to the front lines," he said. "My art
is for the veteran, their families and for future generations, so that
they may honor those that serve."
When Stencel leaves for his three-week assignment, he will leave behind
his wife, Vicky; sons, Andrew, 7, and Alex, 4; and 2-month old daughter,
"Initially, I questioned the safety of the trip, but he assured me they
would not be directly in harm's way," Vicky Stencel said. "I'm very
proud of him and the U.S. government for commissioning it. What better
way to reflect what the soldier is going through?"
Stencel served with the National Guard for nine years and was deployed
overseas on three joint military training exercises, cross-trained as an
intelligence noncommissioned officer and received the Army Commendation
Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with an oak leaf cluster.
He holds a degree from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and has
studied at the Disney Institute.
As the former director of design for a $40 million display company,
Stencel has designed multimillion dollar exhibits for Fortune 500
companies and museum exhibits for the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and
Harley-Davidson, among others.
He is also a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program.
(Kevin Passon can be reached at [email protected])