Sunday, November 6, 2011

Memorial honors female pilot

This bronze sculpture of Doris Tracy is one of two in a memorial for the WASP that will be unveiled Nov. 11 in LaVeta.

From the Chieftain (La Veta, CO): Memorial honors female pilot
LA VETA — A memorial honoring woman pilot Doris Bristol Tracy will be unveiled at 3 p.m. Nov. 11 in the courtyard between the public library and Francisco Fort Museum.

Tracy, a longtime La Veta resident who died July 29, 2010, served as a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) from 1943 to 1945. She and other WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service to the United States in March 2010.

The memorial comprises two larger-than-life bronze sculptures — one of Tracy as a pilot in flight gear and one of a girl holding an airplane — by La Veta artist Joan Hanley.

After getting to know Tracy and hearing about her adventures as a WASP, Hanley thought Tracy would be an inspiration to young women and to the community, and she launched the Doris Tracy Memorial Project.

The project has involved many people, including young women from the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth in Walsenburg who have learned about sculpture and how large bronzes are created, and about aviation and the WASP program.

Hanley said involving the young women was "a really good fit."

"She (Tracy) was a role model. You have to do something with your life, have to have some passion, and hers was flying."

Hanley is a painter, sculptor and illustrator whose work has been exhibited at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo, the Denver Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago and is part of many public and private collections.

A fundraiser for the project, a progressive wine tasting, will be held Saturday starting at 4 p.m. at Deerprint Wine and continuing at Next Door Deli and the La Veta Inn.

More information about the memorial is available at

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