September 18, 2020 – April 11, 2021
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is proud to serve as the first stop for We The People: Portraits of Veterans in America, a nationally touring exhibition of Veteran paintings. We The People is an exciting art exhibition generously presented at the museum by Big Lots with support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council.
Seven years in the making, We The People is artist Mary Whyte’s watercolor painting series of military Veterans reintegrating into society and the workforce after military service. The 50-portrait series — one Veteran portrait from each state — was created to honor our country’s Veterans through art. What began as an effort to paint the face of America turned into an all-consuming mission to uphold and honor the hidden heroes of our country.
This remarkable series depicts military Veterans of all ages and walks of life from an astronaut to a zookeeper. “The taxi driver, schoolteacher, dairy farmer and rancher among others, are a collective symbol of the pursuit of peace and the freedom in which this country was founded,” said Mary Whyte. “All of these men and women once signed a blank check on the value of their life and handed it to the American people.”
About the Artist: Mary Whyte
Mary Whyte (b. 1953) is an American figurative artist known internationally for her watercolors of contemporary people. Her works are in private, corporate, university and public collections nationwide, and have been featured in numerous media outlets including CBS Sunday Morning, PBS and NPR. In 2013, Whyte was one of ten artists worldwide invited to travel to China and exhibit her watercolors at the Nanning Art Museum in Nanning, Guangxi.
The author of seven books including We the People: Portraits of Veterans in America, Whyte’s work has also been featured in many international publications. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Portrait Society of America’s Gold Medal.
In 2019 Whyte founded the Patriot Art Foundation as a means to honor and inspire Veterans through the arts. Photo by Jack Alterman
September 18, 2020 – April 11, 2021
We The People: Portraits of Veterans in America
During the 24-minute tour, you will enjoy watercolor artist Mary Whyte’s exquisitely detailed paintings as she shares what prompted her to secretly embark upon a seven-year journey across America to meet and paint a Veteran from each state. Experience for yourself, the search for inspiration and painting challenges that were part of her journey to honor all Veterans in a one-of-a-kind tribute. Virtual tickets are available through April 11, 2021, and cost $7 for 72 hours of tour access. The tour is free to museum members.
To support Veterans and the We The People art installation, the museum and Mary Whyte will present a series of interactive events.
Thursday, April 8 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In Our Studio, Paint with Mary Whyte, Day 1
Mary Whyte and the NVMM are inviting 12-14 Veterans to participate in a one-day sketching and watercolor painting class taught by the artist herself. The Patriot Art Foundation will supply all materials. This is a free class for Veterans. Class will be held in the Franklin County Room.
Friday, April 9 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In Our Studio, Paint with Mary Whyte, Day 2
Mary Whyte and the NVMM are inviting 12-14 Guests to participate in a one-day watercolor painting class taught by the artist herself. This all-day class is $400 Non-Members and $325 Members. Class will be held in the Franklin County Room.
Friday, April 9 | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
An Evening with We The People – the Veterans, the Portraits & the Artist
NVMM is proud to host a celebration event to close out the exhibition that has graced the Great Hall since September 2020. Mary Whyte will host a short program and then provide 2 private tours of the exhibition. NVMM plans to extend an invitation to some of the Veterans featured in the exhibition to be our guests that evening. Event tickets are $40 Non-Members and $30 Members includes parking. Light snacks and beverages. Limited to 125 Guests during COVID-19.
Saturday, April 10 | 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Meet The Artist, Get The Book
Before Mary Whyte leaves town, she will stop by the NVMM to sign copies of her book for guests and give 2 final guided tours. Limit to 10-12 guests in each group during COVID-19. Museum admission required.