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Veterans & Military Families Create

June 8 - Sept. 30, 2020

Showcasing the creative talents of veterans and members of military families, this community art exhibit features a variety of mediums and subject matters, but each piece has a connection to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

27 Participating Artists


ARTIST BIOS - Alphabetical Order

Niece of a U.S. Veteran of the Vietnam War

I remember as a young girl, my Grandparent’s joy in celebrating my Uncle John returning home from War. I was given the task of putting a small paper American flag in each corner of the patriotic cake my Grandma had baked. Although I was too young to comprehend War, I knew that his coming home safely was something special.

U.S. Air Force, 1967-1971

I served in the Air Force assigned to AF Civil Engineering as a facilities and airfield electrical maintenance technician. I am originally from New Haven, Connecticut. From an early age I liked to be creative, wanting to draw pictures depicting stories that I had heard or recreating the action and atmosphere of historical themes. After high school, I attended The Paier School of Art, receiving formal training in drawing, painting and acquired a fondness for the watercolor medium. Although, following a technical career path in the military and private sector, I kept my hand in the art world by continuing to paint/exhibit and work freelance when it was available. I retired from The Ohio State University and moved to Ormond Beach in 2013.

Disabled Veteran

I am a disabled Veteran who has had migraine headaches since 1980, but still trying to be of service to those around me. I loved the military, and I appreciate all that other Veterans have given. My son, Jason, was killed in a tragic accident in September 2018. I started acrylic abstract painting to calm my mind. Stirring paint allows me to be mindful.

U.S. Army, 1976-1979

Enlisted at 32, made it through Basic Training using many tubes of Ben Gay. Trained in fixed station microwave repair, but ended up working as a photojournalist. Used my GI bill to earn my degree and was accepted into Army’s intern program in the counterintelligence field. My time in the Army was one of my best accomplishments.

HARRIET BLUM: Artist Spotlight Video
Daughter of U.S. Army Veterans

Both of my parents were in the Army during World War II. My mother was a nurse, and my father was a pharmacist. Although they were never sent overseas, they both were very proud of their military service. At age 97, mom is still going strong and remembers her time in the service very well. I have been a photographer since the early 1970s, and have made my living exclusively on my fine art photography since 2002 when I provided art for all sleeping and meeting rooms in the Loews New Orleans Hotel. I have won many awards for hand-tinted photographs using infrared film in a style often described as “romantic peacefulness,” “ethereal” and “dreamy,” and I now have expanded my portfolio to include digital photos. I moved to Ormond Beach 4 ½ years ago to help care for my mom and be closer to my sisters.

MAUREEN BRIDGER: Artist Spotlight Video
U.S. Navy, Vietnam Era

I was a nurse officer stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. I took care of wounded, enlisted marines and supervised medical corpsmen. It was an honor to serve even during a conflict that was not supported by many of our countrymen. I am always touched when I visit the wall in Washington D.C.

Wife of U.S. Army Veteran

Born “little Patsy Dewar” in 1937, I grew up in my father’s hometown of Largo, Florida, with grandparents and great-grandparents buried in the local cemetery. In the summer of 1958, I married another native, Wesley Daniels, a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and forever after I was known as Patricia “Pat” Daniels. During those early years, his foreign deployments included Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, and subsequently together we have lived on the islands of Guam and Tuvalu, and the countries of Israel, China and the United States. Upon our return to Florida in 2014, age 77, I took up the craft of coiling pine needle baskets, made up of needles from the longleaf pines found on Heart Island Conservation Area close to our home in Volusia County.

U.S. Navy Gulf War Veteran & Alaska Army National Guard

Hailing from a wonderful family in New Smyrna Beach, I joined the Navy at 17 and was sent almost immediately to war in the Desert Storm conflict. My experiences in the Navy shaped the rest of my current life including lots of adventure, living in and traveling to some of the most wondrous places in our world, too much fun and service to others and community. I currently live in Charlotte, NC where I’ve settled into a grand life with my wife and two children, along with a passion serving fellow Veterans who happen to be visually impaired at the Veterans Administration.

U.S. Navy Veteran

As a 100% disabled veteran, I struggled with PTSD and bipolar disorder daily. The medications did not work for me, but I found therapy through painting and my world changed.

1st Marine Division Band, 1966-1968

In 1966 while stationed at Parris Island, SC, I was a member of the 1st Marine Division Band. We flew all over the United States playing as a marching, concert and jazz band. One of my fondest memories was playing in a 15-piece Jazz Band for the 1st Marine Division Gala, 300 attended at the Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel in 1967.

Polish Army Veteran & Wife of U.S. Air Force Veteran

Both myself and my dad served in the Polish Army, and my late husband served in U.S. Air Force. I’m happy to continue serving through art and by helping in our beautiful Memorial Gardens. I graduated with MFA, specialty in painting in 1986. All paintings in my "Jacaranda" series are acrylics.

J. WALKER FISCHER: Video Spotlights: "Lieutenants" | "Emerald Wave" | "Asian Fountain"
1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Signal Corps, Vietnam Veteran

I’m an Ormond Beach resident and lifelong photography enthusiast. While stationed at the U.S. Army’s 53rd Signal Battalion in South Vietnam, near Long Binh, 1970-1971, I took this 35mm black and white picture of two of my fellow officials, now titled “Lieutenants.” At the time, I was serving as the commanding officer of the 16th Signal Detachment, a photography unit.

MELISSA HEDGE: Artist Spotlight Video
Wife of U.S. Army Active Duty Service Member

I tried to set aside my art and find something more practical to do, but I learned you cannot run from who you are. Sometimes you just need to embrace the person you were meant to be. My six-year-old self knew she wanted to be an artist and an artist is what she became.

U.S. Army Veteran

I was on active duty from 1982 to 1986 and in the reserves until 1994. I was part of the Military Intelligence community as a Morse Interceptor, the same job Johnny Cash did when he was in the military!

DONNA LOVELACE-FLORA: Artist Spotlight Video
Daughter and Wife of U.S. Army Veterans

My father, Captain Richard S. Lovelace (deceased), served in both Korea and Vietnam during his 15 years in the Army. We lived on or near multiple bases both in the States, as well as in Germany, where I was born. Our final base was Ft. Hood, Texas. I am married to Lt. Colonel Russell L. Flora U.S. Army Ret, who served in Vietnam. I love being out in nature and feel blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty right here in Ormond Beach. I enjoy capturing those moments of awe and wonder that I see in the stunning sunsets, variety of birds, playful dolphins, the grandeur of the ocean, and the peacefulness of a calm river. I hope the photos make others smile and appreciate our precious planet.

U.S. Army Veteran & New Jersey National Guard

I entered the U.S. Army in 1958 and returned to the NJ National Guard. I was trained as an Army Medic. After retiring and selling my businesses, I needed a hobby. I took an art class at the Mechanicsburg, PA Art Club and found my passion. I work in acrylic, pastel, and oil pastel and primarily favor landscapes and flowers.

U.S. Army Veteran

I am an avid mental health awareness advocate and spoken word performer under the pen name A.S. Minor. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel. As a spoken word poet, I am always looking for opportunities to spread the message of Post-Traumatic Growth to the general population, regardless of the venue.

U.S. Navy, 1971-1975

I served in the Navy from 1971 to 1975 and am a Vietnam Veteran. I also participated in the evacuation of Cambodia and Saigon before coming back home in 1975. I was into photography as a young man during the darkroom days. However, once I got married and we had children I put the camera away. I retired a couple of years ago and have rekindled the passion. I still have so much to learn in this digital age.

U.S. Army Airborne Rangers, Vietnam War

I am a photographer who has won numerous National and International Awards. I have specialized in "Americana Photography" and also nighttime photography.

WALLY OSTEEN: Artist Spotlight Video
U.S. Navy Veteran

I was in the Naval Reserve from November 1969 to 1975, with active duty service from December 1970 to December 1972. My grandfather and father were both Navy Veterans before me. My son is also a Navy Veteran. I have been a plastering contractor for the past 41 years.

U.S. Army Veteran & Army Spouse

I was a soldier for four years and a soldier’s wife for 15. In the Army, I served as an Intelligence Analyst and a Transportation Operator. My husband served for 17 years as an Armored Vehicle Mechanic, and he is a Gulf War veteran.

JOSE ROSA: Artist Spotlight Video
Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant

I am a veteran of both the Vietnam War and Operation Enduring Freedom. I retired as a United States Air Force Master Sergeant in 2011 and also retired after 28 years with the Federal Aviation Administration. I'm a past commander of VFW Post 3282 of Port Orange and was inducted to the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame in 2018 by Governor Scott.

Wife of U.S. Air Force Active Duty Service Member

My husband is active duty Air Force and he has been in for nine years. We are currently stationed at Maxwell AFB. My love of the textile arts began by learning sewing from the women in my family and blossomed into my primary mode of artistic expression in college. My husband’s career has allowed me to create art around the globe and take inspiration from different cultures textile traditions and plants in different eco-regions. I experiment with new sculptural forms and textures to expand my knowledge of physical space by playing with scale, transparency and illumination.

U.S. Army, 1974-1983

I trained in and practiced and taught Plastic Surgery in the US Army from 1974 to 1983. I was privileged to serve at the Army Burn Center in San Antonio Texas, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso Texas, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed University of the Health Sciences, Washington, DC.

BETSY STANGE: Artist Spotlight Video
U.S. Army, 1986-2012

I grew up in a small town in Ohio, graduated from Stetson University, and after completing my four-year active duty military obligation returned to the area to raise our children. With the support of my husband and children, I managed to serve an additional 21 years in the US Army Reserve. About the time the last of the three kids finished high school I became more active in my photography studies and adventures.

CHRIS STEWART: Artist Spotlight Video
U.S. Navy Veteran, Attack Squadron 34, Naval Air Station Oceana, VA, USS George Washington CVN-73

I’m a longtime resident of Volusia County. My wife, Laura, and I raised our daughter along the waters of Spruce Creek. I’m an avid waterman and world traveler who has explored remote and exotic locations including Cambodia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States. Art gives me a chance to reflect on and share my life experiences through different mediums and subject matters including photography, acrylic paints, watercolor, Gyotaku and whatever sparks my interest at any given moment.

U.S. Army Veteran

I joined the United States Army after September 11, 2001, I was a paratrooper and was stationed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Both my grandfathers were in the service and I have the utmost respect and reverence for all Veterans and the sacrifices they make in service of our Country. When painting this piece, I thought of the ultimate sacrifice soldiers are willing to make so that we can be free and to remember that our freedom comes at a price that they are willing to pay to defend these United States of America. They should never be forgotten and forever memorialized.

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