Art Works Blog

NEA Arts: "Seeing is Believing"

Michael D. Fay's painting of Lance Corporal Fuller, who is mourning the loss of his comrades form Operation Steel Curtain, Ubaydi, Iraq. Courtesy of the Art Collection, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia

“You do get a bit of stage fright each time, hoping you can still get the ring in the bell, the look in their eye, their tilt of their body…whatever that special thing is that captures their spirit.” ---former combat artist Michael D. Fay on sketching recovering troops for the Joe Bonham project

Guns, ammo, protective gear---these are the expected tools one brings into battle. But for combat artists, the list also include cameras, drawing implements, and even audio recorders. In "Seeing is Believing: War Through the Eyes of a Combat Artist," Christy Crytzer Pierce follows combat artist Michael D. Fay through his service as a Marine, his embedding as a combat artist with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his new vocation as the founder of the Joe Bonham Project, which brings professional artists into hospital settings to visually document the recovery experiences of wounded military personnel.

Visit for the complete NEA Arts issue on the arts and the military, including the full text of "Seeing is Believing" where you'll hear more from Fay and learn about the advent of the combat artists program.

And don't forget to check out the online-only features including Pierce's interview with Vietnam veteran and artist Don R. Schol and a slideshow of work from the 2011 visual arts exhibit Art of the American Soldier.




Add new comment