Fort Frances resident Cher Hogan has been fascinated by planes since she was a little girl growing up in Saskatchewan.
That interest in aviation, coupled with a talent for painting, has led to international renown. Through her painting, she also has spread the word about Fort Frances.
An article about Hogan’s aviation painting will appear in the Chicago Tribune this week, but the piano teacher-painter was almost too busy to get excited about the impending publicity.
“It’s only starting to hit me now,” she joked during a break between piano lessons.
The award-winning artist’s works can be found in galleries, museums, and private collections around the world. She has sold her paintings in every province of Canada, several states in the U.S., and as far away as Hong Kong and Micronesia.
One of her works even can be found hanging in the Fort Frances Times office.
Hogan has sold so many paintings, she doesn’t know where they’ve all gone. She said an acquaintance recently returned from a visit to Thunder Bay, where she stayed in the Victoria Inn’s “Hogan Suite”—a suite filled with her paintings.
“I didn’t even know about it!” she exclaimed.
Her paintings also have been featured in magazines, including Canadian Aviation and Aircraft, Woman Pilot, and the Smithsonian, as well as on book covers.
A set of 12 of her murals hang in the Staggerwing Beech 18 museum in Tollahoma, Tenn. The Gormon museum in Oshkosh, Wis. also exhibits her work. She recently won a Canadian Aviation Museum art competition and, as a result, has two works hanging there in Ottawa.
More than 80 works were submitted from across Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, and Spain for that competition. “Winning that was quite a feat,” Hogan said.
Hogan also won the 1998 Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) art award for her painting, “She Strives.”
She has been elected to the prestigious American Society of Aviation Artists as an artist member. As well, she belongs to the Canadian Society of Aviation Artists and the Women in Aviation Maintenance Society.
Much of Hogan’s past work has been commissioned. “I’m working on about 17 commissions now,” she said.
The self-taught painter specializes in float planes, and uses picturesque Canadian landscapes as a background. She paints in a wide array of mediums, including watercolour, oil, and acrylic, at her home in Fort Frances.
And she’s been an unwitting ambassador for the region.
Larry Bledsoe, a writer for General Aviation News and owner of Bledsoe’s Aviation Art, a gallery in California, wrote about visiting the “fascinating locale” of Fort Frances.
He discovered the town through Hogan’s work.
“Her word portraits and paintings make the place sound irresistible,” he wrote. “Float planes are still a way of life there.
“In the summer months, it’s possible to see all types of planes, including vintage aircraft, on floats, carrying visitors and supplies to remote Canadian lakes.”