Dani Figueroa

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Dani Figueroa

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“Part of My Story,” is an acrylic painting on canvas that measures 24” X 48.” The painting is designed to depict the polarity between regimented and laissez faire. It’s also meant to capture visually my then and now. This piece is meant to be fun and hopes to draw the viewer in to transpose their own set of shoes in the ‘now’ spot.

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HISTORY

My history as an artist is this. As a youth, I was involved in several established art programs from elementary to high school. In college I minored in fine art. (I joined the military after 9/11.) Fast forward to a few years ago, 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. Although a subconscious decision, the artist in me was replaced by a void and darkness. It took a while for me to understand that I saw art as hopeful, alive, and good, and that these were all adjectives I didn't believe in or see in me anymore. (I copied, doodled, did things for commands or birthdays, but never created, until recently.) Art therapy was the defibrillator my ‘artistic’ heart needed to start again. As a result, I've been pursuing art therapy through the DoD's Vocational Rehabilitation Program. I’m still in the pre-requisite stage of this journey with aspirations to attend George Washington University.

COPING THROUGH ART

I would not be where I am today without the amazing support of these non-profit organizations: Semper Fi Fund/America's Fund, The 296 Project, Armed Service Arts Partnership, and CreatiVets Through these organizations I've found a community that keeps me connected, grounded, and accountable. It is my hope to one day through my art, especially music, to “pay it forward” financially and otherwise to all that have been there for me during my greatest time of need.