I am a veteran of both Marine Corps service and incarceration; in the process of reentry from these environments back into our community, I found my outlet and redemption through creating art. I sculpt with metal to depict a permanence of spiritual tenets and connect with people, both through the process of making and in visual metaphors and stories told through objects. My artworks are intended to allow for contemplation of mindfulness, introspection, and ego destruction. There are many artists who deal with the spiritual, but my life experiences have granted me the wisdom to help those who struggle with addiction and PTSD.
I intend to create 22 folded American flag sculptures from the mediums of steel and art glass. The 22 flags will represent the 22 veterans tragically lost each day to suicide. I envision this project will become an educational tool for the public and a beacon for community resources available to veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) I must believe that through education and public engagement this devastating number of 22 deaths each day can be reduced. Each flag is intended to be unique, demonstrating the precious individuality of each life lost.
The medium is folded steel, cut with a star pattern to represent our nation’s flag. Inside each will be a box of art glass illuminated by an LED. I will know if the desired impact has been achieved by measuring the reaction of veterans and veteran service organizations. When completed, this project will be available for transportation and exhibition. I intend on offering the exhibit to organizations such as the: Carl T Hayden Veterans Administration Hospital, Disabled American Veterans, and Local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters.
The scope of this project is an exciting challenge that will require expanding my available instruments. Creating 22 sculptures with individual characteristics will take multiple creative skillsets involving artistic steel craft. My intent is for half the final sculptures to be based in highly reflective chrome while the others range in patina, paint, and steel bluing techniques. Again, my goal is to highlight the intricacies and singular tragedies often lost when accounting for the sheer magnitude of suicide’s haunting impact on the entire veteran community.
Funding of this project will allow access to the technical knowledge and tools necessary to ensure success and desired emotional effect. The financial resources I seek will enable me to create a meaningful and socially impactful sculpture installation intended to help veterans struggling with PTSD. Thank you for this opportunity.