Debra Van Poolen has been a landscape and portrait watercolor artist for 20 years. Now Van Poolen highlights human rights violations which are misrepresented by the US mainstream media. In addition to attending the Chelsea Manning Court Martial in the summer of 2013, Debra traveled to the West Bank of Palestine via a grant to make art about life under occupation in the spring of 2013. Debra also works as a educator regarding permaculture and sustainable cultures. She coordinated programs for the International Society of Ecology and Culture's Ladakh Project in northern India over a three-year span from 2009 to 2011. Debra Van Poolen created courtroom sketches each day of Chelsea Manning's three-month court martial in 2013. Her drawings were posted on the Chelsea Manning Support Network website and in other publications such as the Guardian, Russia Today, and Long Island Press. Please see several other drawings of key figures in Chelsea Manning's court martial pictured below; all fifty of the works from the trial are on her website. (http://debvanpoolen.com/index.php/artistic-witness/chelsea-manning) General Comment from Debra: Whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange have shared crucial truths with the public regarding crimes committed at the highest levels of America's government, military, banks and multi-national corporations. These whistle-blowers have been treated as traitors with charges of espionage. In response to these attacks on whistleblowers, Americans now face questions such as: To what degree do we value first amendment rights and the truth-tellers who exercise their freedom of speech? And, are we going to hold our most powerful leaders accountable for the crimes clearly exposed in the leaks from the whistleblowers? The Wikileaks releases reveal that our military leaders are guilty of some of the most egregious crimes known to humanity, such as mass murder and torture of innocent people. If we want to be a society which upholds truth, justice, and the protection of innocents, we need to support our whistle-blowers and prosecute the real war criminals!
Debra's ArtPrize Entries
These are Debra's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Debra's Past Work
These are images of past work that Debra has done.