Monday, October 23, 2017

Award Winning Artist is Blind Vietnam Veteran

How a blind Vietnam veteran creates award-winning art
Abigail Edge
October 23, 2017

"For a lot of veterans, especially combat veterans, art has a way of refocusing their attention into something more constructive than feeling sorry for themselves or angry all the time," he says. "One gentleman was considering suicide until he got his artwork into Post 1 and people began buying it. It gave him a new lease of life. He had a purpose again."

Painter and sculptor Jim Stevens has been a professional artist for more than 15 years. He vividly captures portraits using oils, acrylics, and his trusty yellow no. 2 school pencil, the kind with a silver ferrule and a pink eraser on the end. Stevens' award-winning work is collected internationally. He's been featured in galleries in Seattle and Denver, where he lives.

He is also legally blind.

In 1970, Stevens was a sergeant in the U.S. army when he was shot in the head during a combat mission in Vietnam. At the military hospital at Cam Ranh Bay, surgeons removed two bullet fragments but couldn't retrieve the smaller pieces. He was told they would probably never bother him, and for 23 years, aside from occasional migraines, they didn't.
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