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Vintage military planes fly high in art exhibit

At Tucson's Pima Air & Space Museum, a group of vintage military aircraft have been reimagined by a series of contemporary artists. The exhibition is on through May 31.

One of the vintage military planes in the new exhibition at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz. A group of planes, as well as aircraft sections, have been reimagined by a series of contemporary artists. Courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery

If there's one medium that you wouldn't expect to see get taken on by graffiti and other contemporary artists, it's military airplanes.

But thanks to the folks behind the Round Trip: Art from the Boneyard Project exhibition, now on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz., visitors can see just that.

Although only five full airplanes have been painted--out of dozens in the museum's full collection--the show also includes two cockpits and a large group of airplane sections, all reimagined with an artist's flair. The exhibition, which runs through May 31, "resurrects disused airplanes from America's military history through the creative intervention of contemporary artists," a release about the show reads, "taking entire airplanes and their elements out of aeronautic resting spots in the desert, known as 'boneyards,' and putting them into the hands of artists."

There are probably few places on the planet where an artist's rendition of a gorgeous old aircraft will better blend in with the environment than in the American southwest. Whether that's why the show is being held in Tucson or not, the museum has a terrific collection, and now, those lucky enough to get a chance to see the exhibition will get to see some of America's most beloved military planes with a whole new lease on life.