Sam Lyons has received many honors during his many years as an aviation artist, but he says the announcement that he will be inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame is the most thrilling of them.
“I usually feel that making a living as an aviation artist is reward enough for what I do,” Lyons commented, “but I was totally overwhelmed when I heard about this honor. It’s amazing to me that I get to join a group that has contributed so much to aviation.”
This is the first time in its history that the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame has inducted an aviation artist, which makes Lyons’ enshrinement even sweeter for him.
“I would never put myself in the same category as Eddie Rickenbacker, Gen. Robert L. Scott or Ben Epps,” said Lyons, noting a few of the past inductees. “I’m a pilot who loves flying and airplanes, and was lucky enough to have some artistic talent. Hard work helped, too. Mostly I feel lucky to be able to make people feel good with my art.”
Lyons was nominated by Buddy Stallings, head of Eastern Aviation Fuels. Stallings has commissioned a number of Lyons paintings, including three Bob Hoover-related works.On the nomination form, Stallings wrote: “Through his artwork and passion for aviation, Sam Lyons has drawn thousands into the world of flying (and) has preserved aviation history with his highly realistic and meticulously detailed paintings.” A biography and many articles about Lyons supported the nomination.
Lyons says that the induction is one of his most exciting experiences, despite the fact that he has flown in an F-15 Eagle while dog-fighting with Air Force pilots, in an F-16 Falcon, and with the Navy in a Blue Angels F-18 Hornet, all as a civilian.
Lyons lives on a 2,200-foot grass airstrip in Woodstock, Georgia, with his wife, Mindy. He flies his J-3 Cub as often as he can, weather and work permitting.
Most of his artwork can be viewed on the Lyons Studio website at LyonsStudio.com.