Two weeks left to see the National Exhibit of Veteran Art at Gallery8k in Aspen! Where are we heading next? You can find the exhibit in Aspen Campus of Colorado Mountain College starting September 25th. Also, head over to our website www.challengeamerica.com, click on the art exhibit tab, and check out the digital gallery where you can view all of the artwork from your computer!
This week, we are putting the spotlight on artist and veteran, Dani Figueroa. Dani minored in fine art in college, and joined the military after 9/11. Dani says “it took art therapy, toward the end of my military career (I medically retired in ‘14), to realize that the artist in me died during my first deployment in 2005…art therapy was the defibrillator my ‘artistic’ heart needed to start again.” Dani is pursuing studies in art therapy through the Department of Defense’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and aspires to attend George Washington University in the near future.
This piece, titled “Honor and Sorrow,” represents the dichotomy Dani feels about her experiences with war. The person in the painting is a little out of focus and heavily textured to convey the complexity of the emotions that arise when returning from war. The person is faceless and genderless because, as Dani says, "the effects of war are never bias.” The red paint, almost falling like rain, represents all entities of war—the time spent in war, and what war means to Dani and to the viewer. Dani truly painted this piece one brush stroke at a time with intention and feeling.