This is going to be our first entry in a series that features one of our own VFV artists each month.
Our featured artist for the month of September is Claude Carol Hunter Jr.
Branch of Service and Service Dates: US Navy and US Navy Reserve 1983-1989
Jobs: Hull maintenance technician /plumber, welder, firefighter, carpenter, yeoman
How did you hear about VFV? I’m sort of like a plank owner, really. Ever since I’ve known Scott, he was sort of formulating VFV- I saw it come off the ground. I was learning to paint with his predecessor Pat Bisline with the VA…she moved to Nashville with her husband. Scott took over with the veterans, getting us to further our education with art.
What has VFV meant to you? VFV has given me hope. It’s helped build my self-esteem. Particularly the blacksmithing class. I had a neck injury, and I was going through recovery and physical therapy. At the same time, I was doing the blacksmithing, and it was very therapeutic for me. So it worked out good.
What has been your most rewarding thing to do at VFV? The painting is sort of parallel to life…I’ve gotten along with artists myself throughout my own life…they are much more freer and they look at the truth of things. Through painting I’m learning to overcome my fears…you know, it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to get it right!’, but no, it’s just paint, man. So take it easy. …I suppose it’s the painting, but it’s also the camaraderie of being here with fellow veterans. I’m learning to open up more. I’m a work in progress, even away from VFV…I’m disabled, but I’ve come a long way with my therapist…looking back (and through them as a soundboard) I see I’ve come a long way.