Yvette M. Pino
Kudos to Army veteran, Yvette M. Pino, whose artwork is featured prominently in the new Workforce1 Veterans Career Center in New York City. The center, staffed by veterans, is committed to helping veterans find good jobs.
At the official opening, Mayor Michael Bloomberg talked about the challenges veterans face reentering the workforce. But he also highlighted the skills and training they have that many others don’t. VAP applauds the mayor’s staff for recognizing the value and significance of having artwork created by veterans, like Yvette, as part of the new center. Art is an option for veterans and should be a part of the conversation about career choices.
Yvette joined the Army after the attacks of September 11, 2001. During her two deployments in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, she found solitude in creating works of art. But her art also helped boost the morale of her fellow troops earning Yvette the unofficial title of “Division Artist.” After her active duty service, Yvette earned her BFA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and founded the Veteran Print Project.
Yvette's prints are powerful, personal and thought-provoking. She gets her inspiration from the oral histories of other veterans; many of whom she's interviewed personally. She calls these works,“Pict-Oral” histories. Yvette's two prints selected for the new career center were inspired by a female Navy veteran who served 28 years and an F-15 mechanic deployed in Afghanistan. To find out more about Yvette and her work, please check out Veteran Print Project (www.veteranprintproject.com).
If you know of another veteran artist that deserves to be In the VAPlight, please let us know.
Artist: Yvette M. Pino
Veteran: Mary Kolar, US NAVY
To capture a military career that spans 28 years is a daunting task. It would do that career a disservice to attempt to sum it up in one piece of artwork. I enjoyed a long conversation with Mary and the most recurring theme was that of Mary’s pride in the Navy and its personnel. One particular statement stood out to me. She mentioned that during her time at Great Lakes Naval Training Center she was required to attend the graduating ceremony of the new recruits each week. I said, “That must have been exhausting- not to mention repetitive.” And Mary responded, without missing a beat, “NO! In fact it was the complete opposite. Each week a new set of young men and women were fulfilling the commitment they had made to serve their country. That ceremony represented the first step in a young Naval career.” Some people say these words to sound patriotic. Mary, however, is significantly genuine when she discusses this topic. Thus, the image in this print is taken from an actual photograph from a Navy Graduation Ceremony at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. After listening to Mary’s story, my creative instincts led me to ideas of energy and movement juxtaposed with documentary characteristics.
You are never alone. You never have any time to yourself. This sentiment stuck out as I listened to Micah’s story as a deployed F-15 mechanic in Afghanistan. One night, however, he had an opportunity to fly on a C-130 with the flight crew. The light of day was fading quickly as they made their descent into Jalalabad. Because the airfield was in the middle of the city they had to approach in blackout conditions. Suddenly everything was dark. Micah was finally alone, metaphorically. He put on his night-vision goggles and from the darkness appeared a vast mountainside with only the small glow of bon-fires creating dots of energy: A beautiful vision amidst the shared idea of never being alone.