Veterans to be honored on Bethany’s art gallery wall
September 18. 2013 10:09AM
Harold Arnott’s portrait will soon be going up on the art gallery wall at Bethany Meadows/Bethany Home – Brandon.
And so will the portraits of 36 other Bethany residents, all who served their country to preserve our many freedoms.
Arnott, 91, is one of 37 veterans who reside on the Bethany campus in Brandon that is being recognized for their military service via a veteran’s photography project that got underway last week.
Brandon photographer Kara Hansen, who launched her home-based business, Creative Kindling about six years ago, was the selected photographer for the project.
Trevor Guthmiller, the Bethany organization’s director of development, said the portrait project surfaced following Veteran’s Day last year.
“Once we had that space out there (the art gallery wall), last November when we had Veteran’s Day, it came to me that we have a lot of veterans who live out here, and it would be nice to honor them,” he recalled. “These are a special group of people representing all branches that gave their service to this country.”
Thus, the photography project was born.
Guthmiller made the project come to fruition by securing a grant from the Sioux Falls-based Sheldon F. Reese Foundation.
“They were gracious enough to fund this for us,” Guthmiller said. The grant covers Hansen’s fee and photo processing. Hansen is also donating an 8- by 10-inch portrait to each of the participating veterans. Guthmiller said the portraits on display would also be given to the veterans.
Guthmiller said he felt it was important to use a local photographer for the project, and in turn, Hansen admits she was intrigued by the project.
“I thought it sounded like an amazing opportunity and a good chance to showcase the veterans,” she said.
On the third day of the veteran’s photography sessions, Hansen’s enthusiasm for the project remained high.
“It’s a great project, and I’m having a lot of fun with it,” she said. “Because some of their pictures are just so amazing.”
And so are their stories, Guthmiller said.
“Like Wendell Hanson, who flew 35 missions in a bomber over Germany and crash-landed three times,” he said. “We have people who served on destroyers, in submarines, in Korea and Vietnam.”
Arnott served as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 through Valentine’s Day 1946 at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. He recalls preparing to go overseas when the war came to an end.
Once Hansen completes the picture taking process, then she’ll go to work super imposing photos from each of the veteran’s military service days into the portrait; their names and branch of military they served in will also be incorporated into the portrait.
All of the 37 portraits will go on display in early November, and remain on Bethany’s art gallery wall through January, Guthmiller said. The portraits will officially be unveiled during a 4 p.m. gallery exhibit opening on Nov. 5. The public is invited to attend.
Arnott looks forward to the exhibit’s opening day.
“In November, when it all comes together and they are hanging them up to pay tribute,” he said, “that will be really special.”