Meeting of the Minds

SPARK! & University of Wisconsin-Madison MFA students


Setting Lines

Artist: Cindy Tidler

Veteran: Ken S., US ARMY

I was very excited to participate in this project and especially glad that I had the opportunity to meet Ken. I have many family members and friends who are veterans and I was really interested to hear Ken’s recollections of his experience in the Korean War with the US Army Signal Corps. Ken described his year in Korea as one of the best years of his life- despite the circumstances. Other veterans I have met said that their time overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places- while difficult, were also the most vivid and alive experiences they have had. Experiences like that retain their hold on you even decades later. Ken also told me that he spent his career back home with the telephone company, which has interesting parallels with the Signal Corps. There is a continuity running through his experiences and I wanted to represent that is some way in this print while also reflecting his unique journey.

This print is a wood block print on mulberry paper. Woodblock prints have an interesting way of taking your carefully conceived idea and image and changing it in the process of carving and printing. The unpredictable transformation reflects the delicate and changeable nature of memory- even our most vivid ones. I learned to let go of the control I wanted to have over the image and appreciate the image that emerged from the medium.

Jim’s World

Artist: Brian James Bartlett

Veteran: Jim, US NAVY

This has been an excellent community based experience. I was paired with a kind-hearted gentleman who loved to tell stories about his family and his time spent in the Navy. I could tell, from first encounter, that Jim had a passion for art. Each Tuesday that we met, Jim was extremely excited to create. He has a very energetic and enthusiastic personality, which I knew I wanted to capture withy the production of the final work. I can only hope that I’ve lived up to Jim’s expectation in the piece I have created pertaining to our brief time spent together.

Blue Bar of Metallurgy

Artist: Yvette M. Pino
Veteran: Carl, US Army
Speaking with Carl and his wife was a really great look into everyday experiences that often get drawn into war experiences and create one incredible thread of a story. Carl trained homing pigeons when he was a boy. This would be a trade that he would pass onto his sons. It was also the use of homing pigeons during war times that made them famous for their skills and transferring of information– sometimes classified. Carl was sent to Paris during the war as an office clerk and knew about Pigeon missions, but was not part of that team himself.  His eyes lit up when he spoke briefly about the “Blue Bar” pigeons he trained in his past. The image captures a Blue Bar in flight. I felt that “Blue Bar” was special because it is the same name of the ribbon you earn in the Air Force. The textures in the print reflect certain metals at a microscopic level. Carl moved on in his life to become a Professor of Metallurgy, or what we know as Material Science. The study of metal and its strength was appealing to me because of my welding training. I found a hand-written formula for certain metallurgy alloys and the heats in which they become liquid. I liked this formula because, in my opinion, it mimicked a bird in flight.



Vocational Agriculture & Meeting at the ASA

Artist: Joshua Duncan




Artist: Julie Marie Ables

Artist Book made in partnership with Veteran Print Project and Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds with Veteran Print Project was an extremely valuable experience. As someone who is suffering from short term memory loss, I was struck by the importance of the project—being able to create a piece of art from someone’s experiences and raising awareness in the community. Working with my partner allowed me to view the world through a new set of eyes and I revealed in the experience of creating a book that would both show the beauty of my partner’s mind as well as bring to light the reality of suffering from Alzheimer’s.


Artist: D. Cavallero