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home : music : music August 19, 2014

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9/20/2013 6:00:00 AM
Riding the Flying Carpet: Greg Brown exhibit flies into Sharlot Hall Museum
Courtesy photo
Artist, writer, flight instructor and photographer Greg Brown sits in front of his Cessna airplane named The Flying Carpet. An exhibit featuring his aerial photography and writing begins at the Sharlot Hall Museum on Saturday. The photograph “Sunset Rains,” below,  features an aerial view between two thunderstorms.
Courtesy photo
Artist, writer, flight instructor and photographer Greg Brown sits in front of his Cessna airplane named The Flying Carpet. An exhibit featuring his aerial photography and writing begins at the Sharlot Hall Museum on Saturday. The photograph “Sunset Rains,” below, features an aerial view between two thunderstorms.
Patrick Whitehurst

PRESCOTT - There's nothing quite like the view of the southwest as seen from high in the sky.

Artist, writer, flight instructor and photographer Greg Brown marvels regularly at that very view in the clouds while aboard his Cessna airplane - aptly named The Flying Carpet.

Brown writes from a master of fine arts degree, which lends a creative rather than technical slant to his prose. He's also a pilot. In 2000, he was named National Flight Instructor of the Year. He's a regular contributor to the magazine "Flight Training."

He calls his photographs more artistic than critical.

"I've always been looking for interesting things out the window of the airplane. We are long time Arizona residents. I think it's obvious to anyone who lives here that we live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The scale, and the color, and the variety that we all appreciate on the ground is such that it's at least as powerful from the air," Brown said.

One of his photographs, called "Verde Canyon Poppies," features a field of Mexican and golden poppies shot from a half mile in the air.

"The idea that you could see flowers from the air, to me, is really amazing. It really demonstrates the power of numbers," Brown said.

Sharlot Hall Museum will offer an exhibit of Brown's work Saturday, Sept. 21, through March 2, 2014. Titled "Views from the Flying Carpet," the exhibit features many of Brown's aerial photographs - called "Earthly paintings snatched from the air above." The exhibit is accompanied by a short video that offers technical insight into the craft.

Sharlot Hall Museum is located in Prescott at 415 West Gurley St. Brown himself plans to be in attendance for the opening of the exhibit.

One of the many exhibit photographs illustrates Potrillo Field in southern New Mexico, particularly the ancient path of lava found there.

"The moment you see this in a photograph, the whole concept of flowing lava becomes real to those of us who have never seen fresh lava flowing," Brown said.

Another captivating image, called "Sunset Rains," offers a view between two thunderstorms.

"One day, two years ago, my wife Jean and I were flying home from Phoenix to Flagstaff and we were flying between a line of two thunderstorms right at sunset," Brown said.

Brown's Flying Carpet, a Cessna airplane, features a "top wing" design conducive for photography.

"There was a famous travel writer/adventurer in the 1920s and 1930s named Richard Halliburton," Brown said. "He decided around 1929 that he wanted to fly to the most remote place on Earth. He decided that place was Timbuktu. He bought an old bi-plane, hired a pilot, and the two of them flew most of the way around the world in this bi-plane called the Flying Carpet. He actually has a book by that name, which I would recommend."

Brown named his plane The Flying Carpet out of a similar sense of adventure.

"The adventures one has in a light airplane today are just as exciting as what he was doing way back then," Brown said.

Besides the name for his Cessna, his column in Flight Training is also called Flying Carpet. His non-technical book also ties into the idea, with the name "Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane."

For more information on Brown, visit his website at www.gregbrownflyingcarpet.com. More information on the Sharlot Hall Museum can be found online at www.sharlot.org.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Article comment by: Tellthe Truth

Since when did a Stearman bi-plane change it's name to Cessna?

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Hill

In the photograph heading your piece on Mr. Brown he may indeed be sitting in front of his Cessna, but it is not visible. The airplane in the background looks more like a Waco.
Do you actually ever check anything for accuracy?

Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Bad Caption Again

The caption beneath the picture is incorrect by a very wide margin. The airplane is not a Cessna.

Could be a Waco F series.

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Fear and Loathing of ooops

Forgive me for being pedantic but I wasnt aware that Cessna ever made biplanes, Im surprised the gang at ERAU didnt jump on this.

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