Art Works Blog

From the NEA Arts Archives: "Seeing is Believing"

In spring 2012, we devoted an issue of NEA Arts to looking at the ways the arts and the military intersect. One of our features focused on combat artists--visual artists who are embedded with troops to capture their day-to-day experiences on the battlefield. In an excerpt from his blog quoted in the article, veteran combat artist Michael D. Fay--founder of the Joe Bonham project, which sends artists into hospitals to visually document wounded troops--explained why sending artists to war side-by-side with warriors is so important:

"For guys facing their own mortality... feeling that what they're doing is important and won't be forgotten is extremely motivating. For many of us it would be a long journey back to anything close to wholeness and equilibrium. Like our buddies who carried the dead to the waiting helos hours before, we too would feel the weight of their presence pulling on us for years to come." 

Visit the NEA Arts section on to read the complete text of "Seeing is Believing: War Through the Eyes of a Combat Artist," along with additional stories from the issue, including features on military bands, Blue Star Museums, and the USO.

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