2021 Featured Artists
Veteran Art Institute is proud to present the 2021 featured artists of the year.
Amanda Saint Claire
Oceanside/San Diego, CA
My work is the exploration of relationships and resistance, both arising internally and externally. The visual arts are a form of language that transcends time and culture. At times, my work is a window into my subconscious, and, at other times, a snapshot of my reactivity, my comfort, and my discomfort revealed. Whether I’m diving into the complexities presented by the nuances of being female in male dominated professions, exerting a sense of self in a long term marriage, or balancing my rebel self with the duties of motherhood to three children, now teens, I find that I am always examining and refining my identity through my work.
Email: [email protected]
I am an Army veteran on the road to recovery and use art as part of my therapy. Transitioning back into the civilian world wasn’t easy and I came close to ending it all. I just woke up one day and said to myself “this isn’t me – I need to do something”. I turned my attention to education and the one thing I was really good at as a kid… Art. I became obsessed with drawing dogs because of my service dog Tina. The love she held for me during my worst days is something I wanted others to see. Through my art I try to show others that love doesn’t also come from people but also your pets. I’ve drawn for people who have lost their pets so they can have something to cherish. On top of this I enjoy drawing self-portraits of families and loved ones who are having a bad day. I want to make others smile through my art.
MARINE AND ARMY VETERAN
Jerome (Jay) served 25 years in the military; 9 years (Marine Corps) and16 (Army). His career included two years in Vietnam; 12 months as a Marine infantry riflemen and Fire Team Leader, and 12 months as an ordnance Platoon Sergeant. Caught off guard by a land mine on his first tour in Vietnam, Jerome was seriously injured. He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
Although pre-service, Jay loved to draw and paint, his first art class was at age 45. He believes art represents an unspoken communication between the artist and the observer. He believes that art should be loose, fluid, and above all fun. Jerome admonishes everyone to not just look but see. His motto: “to be an observer and draw something every day.”
Costa Mesa, CA
Creating visual images that spark self-reflection and motivate the healing process is my passion. As a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, I find guiding therapeutic art groups for the veteran community enriching. I love experimenting with colors, textures, and techniques and using various surfaces, including canvas, wood, metals—even footwear! Many of my creations have been featured in interior art placements, restoration projects, and mural commissions. Inspired by outdoor vistas, much of my artwork features unusual landscapes where I highlight nature’s graceful beauty. You can see my celebration of spirit in the Vibrant Nature and Universe Sensations series or the integration of man and universe in Man & Energy. And The Price of Freedom is my visual tribute to the courageous men and women of our military.
Every day I find joy, hope, and acceptance in my craft. My wish for you is that through my artwork, you experience the same.
Rockville Centre, NY
Raised in NYC, my art started in 1964 with a scholarship to the NY School of Visual Arts. From 1966-69 I served in the Army, as a photographer in Viet Nam and the 82nd Airborne Division. Since 1970, my art life grew as a writer, art director and creative director in advertising. Retired 2014, I now work full-time on art.
My art is about personal mythology and the unreliable nature of memory. It tells a story of the profound events in my life that have created powerful memories and the emotional experiences of recalling them.
2020-21 has been a year of isolation and fear: of people, things we touch, streets we use, air we breathe. My recent work reflects that.
Cuba City, WI
I am 30 years old, married to my lovely wife Ariel and have three children : Owen, Evalyn and Ivan. I was born and raised in Montana, and moved to Wisconsin when I was 11 years old. I joined the Navy when I was 20, served as a Nuclear Machinist’s Mate. I was an instructor at NPTU Charleston right after my training and taught for 4 years. I was then stationed on the USS Nimitz as well as IMF Bangor. I was Medically Retired after seven years of service. I enjoy oil painting, fishing and playing guitar. I have been Oil Painting for the last three years. I am inspired to paint nature but also the things as well as US Navy Ships and Aircraft. Painting helps me relax and helps with my medical issues, as well as it feels like it gives me a purpose other than being a family man.
San Deigo, CA
Reginald Green was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. As a medically retired Navy Veteran, Reggie got into art to heal and explore his creativity. This enabled him to shift his focus off his highly debilitating migraines, headaches, depression and lower back pain sustained during his service. Reggie decided to express himself by learning the basics of molding, sculpting and painting. “When I create art, I can get lost in the process and takes my mind off the pain”. Reggie is a VETART Project instructor and also teaches classes at The Aspire Center and the La Jolla VA
ARMY & NAVY VETERAN
Oceanside/San Diego, CA
Aaron Burks was born in Long Beach, CA in 1978. He served in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army between 1995-2011 when he retired. Aaron is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Martin. Most of his work revolves around the military and veteran themes. He is now a full time artist living in Gridley CA.
Susan J. Farese
ARMY NURSE CORPS & NAVY NURSE CORPS
San Diego, CA
I am inspired and captivated by creativity in life. My visual art passion is nature photography. It relaxes me, makes me mindful of and grateful for my surroundings. Most of my photos include shorebirds, benches (yes, benches), beaches, flowers, rock formations, cityscapes, animals, landscapes and other interesting subjects, including people!
I use my intuition, my keen eye, natural light, a passion for nature and a heartfelt commitment with each photo. I am also a published poet and occasionally combine these art forms on website. I also offer my work at pixels.com and Fine Art America.
Sarasota Springs, NY
Paul Bouchard is a multi-faceted artist. His work is particularly influenced by working through his PTSD from the Vietnam War. His primary media are handmade cast paper, oils, welded aluminum and steel, acrylic, and watercolor.