Kelly Carter

Kelly Carter


"Afghanistan 1" 4'x4' oil on panel. The first place I every really viewed the milky way in the night sky was in Afghanistan. Now it acts as a symbol of things I find amazing and beautiful. What is difficult is the duality of the amazing night sky with the brutal, graphic nature of some other experiences accrued in Afghanistan. This work is about the extremes I encountered; how a beautiful day could turn into hell instantly or experiencing a deep love of my friends to just as quickly recognize the true hatred of a man who wants to kill you.  

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I am currently in my senior year at Southern Illinois University working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Through my adult years I never produced art. At the age of twenty eight, By the urging of my counselor to deal with PTSD symptoms and chronic illness I began painting and drawing. Art then began to aid in coping with my issues. Now, formal instruction has evolved my work into a form of communication.

Coping through Art

I have found after 10 years in the army and 3 years as a civilian that understanding is so important but for veterans among the general public is very difficult to find. In counseling you talk about experiences that upset in order to not internalize them. For me art is the next step to relieve myself of the burden of painful experiences, not in the comfortable seclusion of the office with a counselor yet not painfully sitting down with your new friends chatting about the implications of watching a child take his last breaths in front of you and a buddy. Art is a type of middle ground in understanding and communication. I can express and work through these experiences through the process of making my art, all the while; communicating on my own terms what I want understood by someone with completely different experiences. 

This piece is for sale directly from the artist Price $1,000.00