Patrick Haskett, 59, an Army veteran from Steilacoom, Wash., has been selected to display his award-winning artwork at the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda, May 7 & 11, 2007. Sixteen pieces of art created by U.S. veterans will be on display during the week including, including Haskett’s watercolor painting entitled, “Death Rides a Black Horse,” for which he won a gold medal in 2006. The exhibit, which is open to the public, is in conjunction with the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, an annual art competition founded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help injured veterans in their rehabilitation.
“This exhibit represents the creativity and talents of America’s veterans, who use the avenue of art to express their interests, emotions and experiences,” said Elizabeth Mackey, National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Director. “Through their artistic creations, they educate us about who they are and how art impacts their lives in a healing and positive way.”
Each year, veterans treated at VA medical centers across the country compete in a local creative arts contest that includes visual art, creative writing, dance, drama and music. Selected winners are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, a week-long event that highlights the talents of the national medal-winning veterans through exhibition of their visual artwork and presentation of a live stage show performance. The 2007 National Veterans Creative Festival will take place in St. Louis, Mo., October 22 &28.
“‘Death Rides a Black Horse’ was inspired by the sadness I felt 39 years ago when I learned of the death of my boyhood friend, Charles “Chuck” Wight, in Vietnam,” said Haskett. “I still carry that sorrow with me. I am proud to represent the military and veterans. It’s the least I can do to provide artwork to those who serve, considering what they are doing for us every day.”
The 16 pieces that comprise the exhibit on display at the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building were chosen from nearly 150 first place-winning entries from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 National Veterans Creative Arts competitions.
This exhibit is made possible through the sponsorship of Senator Daniel K. Akaka, chairman, and Senator Larry Craig, ranking member, Committee on Veterans Affairs. For further information about the Capitol Hill Art Exhibit, contact Jeanne Miserendino, at (202) 273-9372.
The Festival is presented each year by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans and the American Legion Auxiliary. For more information about the National Veterans creative arts competition and Festival, contact Elizabeth Mackey, National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Director at (320) 255-6351; or visit the Festival’s Web site at: www.creativeartsfestival.org.