Artist: Farrell Tompkins Preston
Veteran: Drew W., US Army
During my interviews with Drew I was struck by his many positive stories of colleagues and Iraqi citizens. His face lit up when he told one particular story about teaching children to fold origami balloons. My print is based on a photograph of this moment. In my mind, the acts of building and teaching stand for the person Drew has become through the richness of his experiences.
The obsessive repetition of printing and drawing in this piece also represent the other side of Drew’s 15-month deployment. He describes this time in his life as ‘autopilot’; not always exciting and definitely something to get through. As I crafted his portrait, I was inspirited by wondering what this must have been like.
Night Watch (A Night Without Explosions was a Good One)
Artist: Stanley Scott
Veteran: Travis L. US Marine Corps
Artist: Michael De La Cruz
Veteran: Melissa H., US Army
I have to admit this work of art doesn’t even compare to the work our men and women of the armed forces do while serving overseas for our country; however, it’s an effort to appreciate their services, especially Army E-6 Melissa H. of the 173rd OEFE medical squad serving in Afghanistan. Her stories inspired me to look at a perspective symbolizing how children are impacted by what and how they’re devalued throughout the territory in a time of crisis. Her mission was to meet with local villagers practicing medical support ultimately gaining their trust, and working with families affected by injuries or death. Melissa told about me numerous medical encounters. I had a difficult time determining a specific story, but they all generally interacted with children. It gives a sense of how ungrateful a lot of children and adults are, and how they take our country’s freedom for granted. I just want to thank Melissa for her big heart caring for others serving in Afghanistan. Therefore, you–U.S soldiers and Afghans–are deeply in my prayers.
Artist: Scott Lenaway
Veteran: Jeffrey D.
This print is inspired by the experience of Jeffrey D. during his deployment to Afghanistan between March 2010 and February of 2011. Jeffrey was attached to the 16th MP BDE (Airborne). His own artistic work is held here at CSU in both the photo and fibers departments. In his work he has attempted to depict small moments during a deployment; an idea that I have emulated in my piece about him. Every veteran may not know the names of the individual soldier in the photos taken by Jeffrey but we all have shared an experience. It is that experience that allows us to put our friends name in his scene. The fence in this image represents the constant feeling of imprisonment that inevitably surrounds you in a time of battle, having no power over what will happen next.
Artist: Bradley Niedt
Veteran: Jeremiah J.
This project has been eye-opening, humbling, and inspirational. I feel honored to be able to give back what I can to the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces. The image I created is based off of the story of Sgt. Jeremiah J. and his experience in combat overseas. I focused on the long periods of waiting and quiet, spent in guard towers, working, and thinking of home, contrasted with the short, sporadic bursts of combat and chaos.
A Veritable Slacker with
Artist: Yvette M. Pino
Veteran: Kyle I., US Navy
Kyle was generous with his words as we exchanged emails discussing his story. He described the basic run-down of his day-to-day routine as a Machinist Mate on the USS OHIO SSGN 726. From this, I imagined the engine room in the submarine filled with pipes, cords, gears, etc all cramped into this complicated little space. Part of Kyle’s job was to schedule the maintenance of this equipment as well as performing the maintenance himself. In my image, the many facets of the engine room are isolated into detailed circles. I thought, as a Machinist Mate, Kyle would know the equipment so well that he would zoom in and know exactly what was wrong or right in his maintenance checks.
Best & Worst
Artist: Linda Roth
Veteran: Scott L., US Army
The essence of this print is founded in my attempt to capture the better part of the ‘best and the worst’ experience that Scott shared with me about his time in Iraq. Some of the best experiences are rooted in the people he met there, found in the children who followed him around and relished his heart to teach and reach people through his own gifts as an artist. He also found one in the heart of an old woman, who was labeled as crazy and hidden in a remote Monastery, yet she possessed the spiritual intuition to bless our men. One print can only do so much to encompass the sacrifice and honor of our veterans. It can never capture the depth and truth of their stories and choice to serve. It was a privilege to hear them and try. Thank you Scott.
Artist: Nicole Shaver
Veteran: Tiffani W.
This print was inspired by Tiffani’s experiences surrounding Hurricane Katrina when she was in tech school for weather forecasting at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. In what she described as utter chaos for three days–people fearing for their lives, sleeping on tile floors, leaky roofs, no air conditioning, overflowing toilets, and waste deep water. As the base became crucial for the reserves, she was strapped onto a C-17 like cargo and shipped off to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.
Artist: Matthew Workman
Veteran: Cody M., US Coast Guard
Cody, a student of veterinary medicine at CSU, is the inspiration behind Matthew Workman’s print ‘Jayhawk’. A veteran of the Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest, Cody participated in customs and boarding operations to protect some of America’s busiest ports. This print is inspired by his experiences and photographs.
Artist: Laura Grossett
Veteran: Mathew H.
The veteran with whom I met, Mathew H., spoke about personal growth during his military experience. In my woodcut I transferred this idea into native flora from the various locations at which he was stationed including Afghanistan, Kuwait, Germany, Colorado and his hometown of New York. Some other themes that stuck with me were that as a combat engineer his job included the destruction of explosive materials and his love of hand written letters. I was impressed by how positive his experience overseas seemed to have been and kept that in mind while drawing my print.