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TO BE SEEN A Virtual Exhibit Celebrating Veterans and Active Service Members.

The mission of the Austin Veterans Art Festival is to unify veterans and their communities through art. Enlightening the community on the issues surrounding veterans physically, mentally and emotionally by using art as a healing vehicle. While celebrating our histories through visual art, photography, sculpture, theatre, poetry, dance, music, culinary arts, etc; this festival will gather veterans and their communities across the nation. The goal is to foster creative expression to increase brain connectivity, tolerance and feelings of love; therefore, decreasing agitation, aggression, anxiety, and depression in the veteran and veteran family population.

Andrew Corbin

Andrew Corbin is an 8 year Army Veteran who served as an Officer in the Infantry and Civil Affairs.

After deploying to Iraq in 2006, I started painting to help quiet my mind and observe the beautiful world around me. I partnered my passion for hiking with the love of the terrain and landscape to become a landscape artist. Throughout this time I was a 17 year Austin fire fighter and I have a mural hanging in fire station 2.

The first piece titled "Layla" is my first attempt at portraiture. I wanted to capture the beauty of my child.

"Layla"

In the second piece West Texas downpour, behind me the sun was shining with blue skies and to my front a terrible storm. My process for landscapes has been developed over years of travel out into the Texas countryside. I take notes on what weather patterns are prevalent and times of day and year when the light is most powerful or casts great shadows, then try to come back at those times and capture interesting scenes, plus get a good hike in.

"West Texas Downpour"

"I am always in awe of the power of nature and its beauty."-Andrew Corbin

S. Christopher James

Christopher James served in the US Army during the Cold War

I decided to create my own Army Weekly cover using a toy icon that signifies remembrance and respect for the Tuskegee Airmen. This is from the toy series of prints that attempt to bring a 20th-century icon to address present-day issues. However, there is no greater influence than the treasures of the twentieth century. This was a time for our nation to show it could be the leader of the free world.

"Yank"

These prints are usually limited to very small quantities because I create each print by hand on a one-color press. Then it may be slightly hand-painted to give each print its own unique signature. No two prints are alike. I also do digital painting periodically. The technology has gotten infinitely better for composing digital work. However, I like to begin my paintings in traditional media such as watercolors, pencil, and inks to create a rough. At times this almost appears to be a finished work. The texture and depth I look for can only be achieved this way. The image is then scanned so that I can continue to work using digital painting tools.

"Space Force, 2021"

"Sometimes I just enjoy looking back and romanticizing an era before the all-things-at-my-fingertips technology." -S. Christopher James

Judith Estrada Garcia

Judith Estrada Garcia was the first female Marine Crash Fire and Rescue woman at MCAS Cherry Point in 1982. Garcia retired from the Marine Corps after 25 years of honorable service from 1982 to 2007.

My art is a result of my transition from Warrior to Artist. The creation of artwork is a highly emotional and personal experience parallel to the life in the Marine Corps. When I create artwork I am able to externalize my symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) as a result of Military Sexual Assault (MST) while in the Marine Corps. The externalizing of my symptoms is important because I am able to express my memories, feelings, and pain onto the canvas freely using colors and figures. I am able to transform deep rooted emotions and memories, which helps me heal.

"Robo Girl"

The viewer should feel the tranquility of the waves and understand that although we do not see them around us, we feel them, and they do affect us. We as a human race are connected like beads attached by threads to a gigantic electrical tapestry. When we go to war we cut those ties, those beads and leave the tapestry to unravel. The viewer should get inspired and motivated to take action to prevent the disconnections of currents.

"The Bee Keeper"

"I hope that the paintings I create, speak to others that may be experiencing the same pain and serve to heal them and/or to encourage them to use the creative process to heal themselves."-Judith Estrada Garcia

John Garland

Air Force 1974-2005

Raised in a military family, and going directly into a career in the military - I have been a nomad most of my life. This has helped me to appreciate family and colleagues in a way that perhaps others have not appreciated. I did not start drawing and painting until just before retirement from the Air Force.

"Joy"

Painting helps me see that the joys of life flow all around us and connection has become important to me. It might be no surprise that many of these paintings are of family members in connection with what brings them serenity or joy. Here are my niece in "Joy" and my uncle in "Serenity".

"Serenity"

"I will suggest what I seek and often fail to do myself: follow your heart."- John Garland

Jarrad Hamilton

US Army Operation Iraqi Freedom

I am a contemporary fine artist whose work is about expressing the resilience and beauty that exist within pain and struggle. Most of the inspiration for my work comes from life experiences, dreams and my vivid imagination. The goal of this art is to bring life to the eyes and to spark insightful thought into the hearts and minds of those who experience it.

"The Beholder" is a painting that was created to express the mystic and wonder of what beauty really is. This painting is meant to give the viewer a sense of internal beauty by being seen as beautiful through the mysterious eyes that lie behind the barrage of flowers. The title plays off of the popular phrase that “Beauty is in the “Eye of the Beholder” therefore: if one sees someone/something as beautiful, then they themselves become beautiful.

"The Beholder"

“Beast & the Beast" is an expression of the dynamic between two people in a relationship. It is meant to challenge the idea that one person is a “beauty” while the other is a “beast”. But rather two damaged people can come together to make something beautiful together.

“Beast & the Beast"

"I want to share my art in way that makes people feel proud and resilient about who they are and what they are."-Jarrad Hamilton

David Terrar

US Army Vietnam War: August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975 Cold War

Using the Arts & Community to Save Veteran Lives is a very important theme for me. I am very bothered by the number of Vets who commit suicide. I have been painting in oils for over fifty years in a realistic style. I want to use my artistic skills show other vets there is hope.

"Harvey" is the grandson of a run-away slave. He enlisted December 8, 1941 the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. He was assigned to a segregated Quartermaster unit. He landed on Omaha Beach late in the afternoon of June 6, 1944 to set up the logistics to support the invasion. The painting shows the house where he grew up. He is 101 years old.

"Harvey"

"American Legion Honor Guard, Damascus MD". My community of Damascus MD is multi-racial. The American Legion Honor Guard is multi-racial. The painting of the Honor Guard illustrates not only the honor the flag but the men, all of different races. Each put his life on the line to serve; an Asian American, an African American, a white, and Native American.

"American Legion Honor Guard, Damascus MD".

Ricardo Robles

US Navy OEF, OIF, 2006-2012

I am a Navy veteran that served from 2006-2012. I participated OIF and OEF campaigns and was primarily deployed to the pacific fleet. My father served in WWII and my older brother served in Vietnam.

"Hair Goals" This artwork is a bit satire, but coincides with my vision of incorporating nature elements into everyday life. The model was posing indoors at home, while the background is a picture that I took in Ocean Beach, California.

"Hair Goals"

"Freedom" This artwork symbolizes to me an expressive form of nature, wilderness and the possible collapse of our natural environment. Pain and agony will bestow us if we hear future generations ask, "How were wild mustangs like?" I captured this setting by utilizing different pictures that consisted of: horses running in a group in a stable I visited in the hill country, mountain backdrop of my photography collection while visiting Montana, other pictures of skies that composed well with the rest of the painting.

"Freedom"

"I try to capture light into my subjects and all of the effects it can add to a subject."- Ricardo Robles

Amanda Saint Claire

US NAVY 1999-2003

Art will always be an emotive journey for me, grounded in a process that is uniquely mine but that is deeply influenced by my work as a mentor and coach and my experiences as a U.S. Navy Veteran and as a dependent spouse for the past 23 years. Frequent moves required by our military life took a heavy toll on me and lead to me turning my back on my professionally training as an attorney and fully investing myself fully into my creative self. I now share my creative space with and actively mentor emerging neurodivergent artists.

"She, Her, Hers"

Having worked in male-dominated professions most of my life it was often difficult to remain grounded while remaining true to my way of being of the world and for many years I abandoned myself to fit in. Even in the arts men dominate what is found in museums and what is taught in the art curricula in colleges. Further complicating the matter is the frequency of the female form as the subject of so many historical paintings by men. As an artist, I prefer to define my own identity and to caste women as complex multi-faceted individuals beyond the male gaze. "She, Hers, Hers" and "Becoming" express this.

"Becoming"

"I do not shy away from the unknown and use my curiosity and bravery to experiment in the studio." -Amanda Saint Claire

Christopher Galluccio

1995-2016, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan): September 11, 2001, to present day Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF): September 11, 2001-Present Day

I served for 21 years as an F-16 mechanic. I've been to the war a couple times, but I never saw war. I've always been lucky. I never have been in any bad mental state for long. Because if I am, I simply head out into nature where I can get the answer for everything. This is simply what my art is about. It's about healing. It's about getting closer to the person I want to be, the person I am supposed to be.

"Three Brandts"

It is out in nature that I am able to heal myself. It is my hope that my fellow veterans can use this knowledge and the techniques I share to start their own healing journey. Inspiration, hope, and listening to your inner higher self...that's what my art is about.

"Seagull Trail"

"I believe the highest calling in art is to inspire people or increase awareness about an issue."-Christopher Galluccio 

Aleasia Meneses

Grandfather Sponsor: Vietnam War: August 5, 1964, through May 7,1975

I have learned to express myself through art. At one time, I felt lost, without purpose. Then my grandfather, Derrick Randall Jones (Randy), took me to a friend named Mr. Glen Towery. Mr. Towery put a paintbrush in my hand and told me to paint the first thing that came to mind, with no rules or expectations. That day I was set free from myself and my limitations. Since then, I have challenged myself never to become trapped within my unreasonable standards. My theme for these pieces is LIFE.

"Alone"

My grandfather, Retired Sergeant Major Derrick Randall Jones, Randy, is a Retired Army Sergeant Major. He joined the United States Marine Corps. Then, as a Lance Corporal, he was shipped to Okinawa aboard the USNS Upshur instead of going to Vietnam. Randy was next assigned to the Marine Base at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, where he was the Casualty Assistance non-commissioned officer. He reenlisted as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Headquarters and was assigned as the Supply Sergeant. After 8 years in the Army, he transferred to the Reserves and remained in service until he retired as a Sergeant Major in 1994. During his Army Reserve time, he worked for the U.S. Civil Service in many capacities in the United States and Europe (the United Kingdom and Germany). My grandfather's final assignment was Director of Contracting in Berlin, Germany, where he was involved in the drawdown of the U.S. presence, leaving a united Germany after the Berlin Wall fell.

"Confident"

"Sometimes in life, I found myself alone and lost, but when I remember to allow myself to be free, I can truly love myself and others and become confident in myself."-Aleasia Meneses

We'd love to hear from you!

Experience the dynamic environment of Austin’s oldest community arts venue through provocative theater, music and dance performances, intriguing art exhibits, lively Date Nights, and a robust studio arts program for youth and adults. Discover why the Dougherty Arts Center has been the Heart of the Arts in Austin since 1978. We support emerging through established artists by creating opportunities to showcase work and experience art first hand.