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From studio to gallery: Amber Hoy’s work in process at VCCA and on view at the Triton Museum of Art.

Collateral Reparations: Military Veterans and the Healing Power of Artists Residencies, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, funds VCCA residencies for military veteran artists. The second iteration of the grant supported six Fellows and finished earlier this year. As part of VCCA’s final reporting to the NEA, we caught up with the Fellows and asked about work produced during their time here.

Creative writer Odie Lindsey (Nashville, TN) served during the first Gulf War in an Army Reserve unit. He now teaches at Vanderbilt University and was in residence at VCCA in June 2017. While here, he completed the working draft of a novel to be published by W.W. Norton. He also gave a public reading from his story collection We Come to Our Senses as part of a talk about veterans’ issues and art therapy at Riverviews Artspace in nearby Lynchburg.
Visual artist Amber Hoy (Rapid City, SD) was in the military for eight years and deployed to Qayyarah West, Iraq from 2006-2007 with the 592nd Ordnance Company. While at VCCA in August 2017, she worked on a series of Sumi ink drawings of radars. The art she created here was presented in group shows at several galleries and institutions in 2017 and 2018. The shows included Veteran Views at the Triton Museum of Art (November 2017) and Taking Place at CalPoly University (January 2018). She is now the Program Manager of Fellowships at First Peoples Fund, an arts nonprofit based in South Dakota.
Creative writer Jerri Bell (Chesapeake Beach, MD) retired from the U.S. Navy in 2008, after a 20-year career.Her assignments included antisubmarine warfare in the Azores Islands. She is Managing Editor for O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project. While in residence at VCCA in August-September 2017, she completed four short stories, worked on the drafts of eight other stories, and wrote about her experiences in a September 5, 2017 post on her blog.
Creative writer Francisco Martinezcuello (San Diego, CA) spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, where his official duties included guarding embassies in Uganda and Brazil. He also deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his VCCA residency in September 2017, he produced an outline for his novel as well as three creative nonfiction memoirs. Two of them—Afghan Roses and Losing Trust—have been published. He submitted the third, Dreams and Nightmares, for consideration and is awaiting notification! 
Creative writer Ramiro Hinojosa (Louisville, KY) served in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of sergeant, and deployed to Iraq from 2006-07 as a Personal Security Detachment team leader with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was in residence at VCCA in January 2018, when he completed two short stories and revised several others. He also gave a free reading for the Lynchburg community at Riverviews Artspace.
Visual artist Aaron Hughes (Chicago, IL) is an artist, activist, organizer, teacher, and Iraq War veteran. During his January-February 2018 residency at VCCA, he completed 20 drawings on vellum. While here, he was frequently able to complete a drawing a day. In “the real world” it sometimes takes him two months of work before bringing a drawing to completion; an example of the concrete benefits provided by focused creative time and space.

We thank these NEA-funded Fellows—and our other military veteran Fellows—for their service and important work. Your art builds bridges.