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Art professor donates her painting to Hornell airport in memory of Pat Jessup

Lise Lemeland with her plane, a Super Decathlon

Lise Lemeland with her plane, a Super Decathlon

Lise Lemeland, associate professor of drawing and painting in the School of Art & Design at Alfred University, will donate an original mural-sized painting to the City of Hornell, owner of the Hornell Municipal Airport, in memory of the late Patrick Jessup. The oil-on-canvas was created specifically for Patrick and the Hornell aviation community.

Jessup was piloting a plane that crashed near the Lock Haven, PA, airport in June 2010, killing Jessup and two passengers. Associated with Sterling Airways, Jessup was a well-respected and popular charter pilot and flight instructor for more than 20 years. He is credited with teaching many local pilots to fly, including Lemeland.

More than that, however, Jessup was her husband.

Dedication of the painting in his memory is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday (May 30) at the Hornell airport, with Mayor Shawn Hogan, as well as many of Jessup’s family, friends and fellow pilots expected to be in attendance. The public is encouraged to attend as well. JetSmart Aviation, the company that not manages and runs the airport for the city, is hosting the event.

With the dedication, the City of Hornell will gain a distinction shared with The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum; three of Lemeland’s aviation-themed paintings are in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

She has said that for her, flying and painting are “inextricably entwined.” She uses flying, particularly aerobatics, as inspiration for her work.

“Since Pat’s death, I have continued to pursue my flying, specifically competition aerobatics,” said Lemeland.  Last summer, the Federal Aviation Administration granted her a waver for an “aerobatic box” right over the Hornell airport, which allows her to practice her routine right over the airport’s runway.

“This is quite a neat thing for me,” said Lemeland. “Not only is it great for practicing my sequence, but if someone happens to be at the airport while I am up practicing, they can see my flying upside down.

“Pat would be very proud, I know.”