I define myself as a mother, wife, sister, and daughter. But I also served in the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2005, while stationed in North Dakota and Washington. After 9/11, I sort of froze, so to speak, which only increased after being deployed to Qatar for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. There wasn’t time to mourn or feel sad because of my very fast-paced military career. After leaving the service, it took a long time to readjust, especially after wearing military combat clothing every day. Eventually, though, I began to understand that God was there for me all along. Now, in my civilian life, I like to read, write, hike, travel, listen to music, and take my kids to the park or the beach. I also enjoy painting, making creative projects, and checking out galleries. In the past few years, I volunteered for ArtPrize, helping out-of-town visitors find their way around Grand Rapids. Earlier this year, Kent County Veterans Services offered Zoom art classes, an opportunity I really enjoyed. These art projects helped release my frozen feelings and begin to sort things out. So, this year, after taking a few art classes with Pamela Alderman, I am very honored to display my work as a first-time ArtPrize artist. It is also a great pleasure to showcase my work at Veterans Memorial Park with all the other veteran artists. With my mission expanding, I’m not only a mother, wife, sister, and daughter, I’m also an ArtPrize artist with an important story: Art helped heal my invisible wounds.
Lily's ArtPrize Entries
These are Lily's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.