Faces Tell Stories is an annual portrait project focusing on the faces of those who have served. It is an opportunity to look deep into the eyes of an individual and see the story that is there.
A portrait is more than just a likeness. It is a revelation of how that person came to be. Lines and creases are the maps of our individual experiences. Where a person has been and what they have seen is etched onto the topography of the face. It can be read by anyone willing to take the time to look. Many stories, like the men and women who have lived them, can be forgotten and overlooked. This project is my attempt to draw attention to those lines, ponder that topography, and reflect on how it came to be.
From nominations, a single veteran will be selected every January to sit for a life-size portrait bust. A copy of this bust will then be presented to that individual annually on Veterans Day. My goal is to build a collection of faces and stories honoring the diversity and experiences of the veterans of today.
2018 Faces Tell Stories — A Veterans Project
Staff Sgt. Ronald Harrison Le'ger
Nominated by Rylan Brenner—a former colleague of mine from BCC, Ronnie has the kind of face that grabs your attention. He's both an artist and a musician, who served over 24 years in the army with multiple deployments. He's a man of many stories and a diversity of experience. My first conversation with him was an interesting mix of art, Led Zeppelin, and explosions. Our time together sculpting promises to be interesting.
Retired, honorably 24 years of service, 5 tours of duty
Iraq / Ramadi and Baghdad / 2005-2006 / 2009-2010 / Iraq Medal with 3 Campaign stars
Kuwait / Global War on Terrorism Medal
Kosovo Campaign / 2006-2008 / Kosovo Medal with 1 Campaign star / NATO Medal
Guantanamo Bay Cuba GTMO / 2003-2004 / Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal
Korean Defense / 1991-1993 / Korean Defense Medal
2017 Faces Tell Stories — A Veterans Project
Sgt. Jonathan Gavin-Patterson
The inaugural sculpt of this project is of Sgt. Jonathan Gavin-Patterson. Jon was a Black Hawk Crew Chief during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2010-11. Jon and I met when he was studying art at Bristol Community College. I wanted to sculpt him because, like me, he was a veteran who decided to study art after having served. For me, this was an opportunity to spend time and listen to his story. Oh, and he had a really cool beard.
Click images above to scroll through images from the Veteran's Day Reception November 11, 2017.