Submitted by National Veterans Art Museum
The art exhibit "Portraits of American Veterans; A Continuing Dialogue" is on display through July 28, in the lobby gallery of Northern Trust Bank, 50 S. LaSalle St., Chicago.
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It features original oil paintings by Algonquin artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner and works from the permanent collection of the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, the sponsor of the exhibit.
This Chicago exhibit is groundbreaking in scope, and the first art exhibition that brings together the art by veterans from the art museum with the paintings and stories about veterans by Hill-Soldner. All artworks from the museum have been created by artists who are veterans of wars from the Vietnam War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Veterans Art Museum, the only art museum in the world that focuses on artwork created by veterans, is located at 1801 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago.
Founded by Hill-Soldner in August 2009, "Portraits of American Veterans Project" continues the artist's ongoing artwork dealing with the effects of war. This exhibit incorporates original oil paintings of local American veterans with photographs and stories told in the veterans' own words. The artist also works with research assistant Frances Mai Ling, while contacting veterans in preparation for the biographies that accompany the paintings.
The mission of the "Portraits of American Veterans Project" is to represent veterans who served in America's foreign conflicts, and at home, chronicling their stories. In the process, a visual archive has been created through collaborations with the veterans. These collaborations have brought into being new works about war that speak to veterans, and the viewers witnessing the humanity of the warrior, and the role of the citizen soldiers in our families and communities. The process has proved to be healing for all who have engaged in a visual dialogue with the veterans' portraits.
"This project began as a painting to honor and celebrate the life of my Dad (Sgt. Maj. Dan L. Hill) who passed away in 1993 from prostate cancer," Hill-Soldner said. "Dad was a 30-year career U.S. Marine and served in World War II, Korea and two tours in Vietnam. From this loss I created a large collection of oil paintings 'Memories of an Era,' that have exhibited at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago and other museums and galleries around the country. The response from veterans and their families to my work compelled me to create the 'Portraits of American Veterans Project.' I founded the PAVP to honor all those who have served in the U.S. military and their families."
The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit soldnerfineart.com or nvvam.org.