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updated: 5/7/2012 3:25 PM

Portrait of a veteran: Art exhibit opens in McHenry

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  • Vietnam veteran Al Weber stands next to his portrait in Jeanine Hill-Soldner's studio. An artists reception for "Portraits of American Veterans Project," will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 11.

    Vietnam veteran Al Weber stands next to his portrait in Jeanine Hill-Soldner's studio. An artists reception for "Portraits of American Veterans Project," will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 11.
    Courtesy of Jeanine Hill-Soldner

 

Submitted by Jeanine Hill-Soldner

The art exhibit, "Portraits of American Veterans Project," with original oil paintings by Jeanine Hill-Soldner, will be exhibited May 7-31 at Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services Drop-in Center, 5330 W. Elm St., Route 120 in McHenry. An artists reception will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 11.

The project was founded in 2009 by Hill-Soldner. It is a continuation of her work with art about war and veterans. The exhibit incorporates original oil paintings of local American veterans with photographs and stories about the veterans told in their own words. The veterans meet with the artist in her studio for an interview, a photo shoot and sketching session before the paintings begins. This exhibit represents American veterans in narrative context where the paintings and stories provide a visual dialogue, and a connection between the viewer and the veteran. Hill-Soldner plans to include veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and on the home front. It first exhibited in November 2010 in the Sage Gallery, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake.

The Veterans Drop-in Center is for veterans, reservists, active military personnel and their families. The center serves as a hub for a Lake-McHenry County initiative to transform the delivery of services that address the emotional well-being of veterans and their families. The Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services Initiative is led by a consumer-driven governance council with the Lake County Health Department and the McHenry County Mental Health Board.

Hill-Soldner, an Algonquin artist, was born in Quantico, Va. and raised in a military family. The artist has become known for her innovative style expressed in strong, dynamic lyrical and figurative works. She is an award-winning artist and teacher with an master's degree in art education from the University of Illinois, Champaign. The artist's many exhibits include the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, Museum of Fine Art Florida State University, the Rockford Art Museum and more than 100 juried shows. Her art has been featured in many publications and the artist's profile was featured on a PBS television documentary. Hill-Soldner is owner of Soldner Fine Art Studio in the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake and a lead artist with the Vet Art Project Chicago.

During the reception on May 11, there will be music and a special reading of stories and poetry by veterans, some of whom are part of this groundbreaking exhibition. In addition to the art by Hill-Soldner there will be an exhibit of art by veterans and their family members from Chicago, Lake and McHenry counties. There also will be a special exhibition of patriotic quilts. The public is invited to attend this reception to meet the artists and enjoy refreshments. The reception is free and open to the public with a special invitation to veterans and their families. for more information, email jeanine@soldners.com or visit [URL]www.soldnerfineart.com;http://www.soldnerfineart.com[URL].[/URL]