You might not recognize the name, but Cher Ami is a genuine hero. In 1918, during World War I, Cher Ami, a pigeon, flew 25 miles in 25 minutes and delivered a message to a unit which was then able to rescue 194 American soldiers. Not only did Cher Ami fly a mile a minute, he was shot in the chest, blinded in one eye, had one leg almost completely torn off and was covered in blood. The brave pigeon was only one of thousands of animals that have served during wartime, and one of the subjects in Rachelle Vazquez's exhibit "Where Pigeons Dare."
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Over the years, more than 50 pigeons, dogs, horses and even a cat have been given a Dickin Medal (sort of a medal of honor for animals). Vazquez's slightly humorous work includes 54 drawings of the individual medal winners and one large tapestry showing the animals in action. Working from WWII battle paintings, she depicts scenes that are similar to the ones in the paintings, with one change: Vazquez substitutes the animals for the people in the original images for a somewhat comical effect. Viewers will see dogs with rifles and pigeons parachuting from planes or standing at attention. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through January 15. 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 19. Continues through Jan. 15, 2010