Personal Visions: Projects by Veterans



Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 5-8 pm
Free and Open to the Public
Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1070 Bannock St, Denver 80204


Amy Forestieri, Donald M. Gardner, Elane Graves, Gregory Hall and Chuck Rasco

Personal Visions: Projects by Veterans features a compelling collection of fine art photography created by five Denver-area artists who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy or Air Force. This unique exhibition is the culmination of CPAC’s Veterans Workshop Series, a five-month program of advanced photography courses. Each project is intensely personal, reflecting each artist’s inspirations, life experiences, creativity and point of view.


Full artist statements are included in the exhibition catalog, available on

©Amy Forestieri, Work together as the body of Christ, Corinthians 12:12-31

Jesus on Colfax Ministries by Amy Forestieri

“My heart breaks for the poor, sick, abused, addicted, and lonely. I want to be part of the solution but often don’t know where to start or what to do. So, I’m breaking the paralyzing grip of my doubts and fears, by photographing proof that every individual can make a difference with their current skills and resources. I’m sharing my work for anyone who also needs these reminders.”

©Donald M. Gardner, Moxie

Windows: Through the (Looking) Glass by Donald M. Gardner

“These images capture a moment in time, maybe some detail, something that might escape us if we aren’t paying attention to the whole scene, the moment, the reflection, or the light. . . I continue to see these glimpses of moments in time and find myself thinking about what they reveal.”

©Elane Graves, Sweet Bay Tea

Dinner at Grandma’s by Elane Graves

“I fondly remember watching my parents and grandparents prepare meals or special treats for friends and family when I was a child. I left south Louisiana soon after high school and have not lived there full time in over 25 years. But after all this time away, I still get homesick. This presentation consists of images from recipes that are staples not only in my family, but most Cajun households.”

©Gregory Hall, Inspiration

Inspiration to Inspired by Gregory Hall

“In my life I have occasionally been inspired by some special people. My friend Stephanie is one of them. Aviation fills her life both personally and professionally. She taught flying in the Air Force and NASA. She flew for the Air National Guard. Seeing her passion for aviation was inspirational to me. It gave me an sense of what dedicating your life to something really means.”

©Chuck Rasco, Top of the World

Jeep Life by Chuck Rasco

“If a Jeep in your group breaks down, you all work together to either fix it and continue, or work to get the Jeep off the trail and back to safety. To me, it’s as close to the bonds we formed in the military that I’ve found in civilian life.”

Personal Visions: Projects by Veterans exhibit catalog CPAC

Personal Visions: Projects by Veterans Exhibition Catalog

Catalogs are available for purchase ($14) on
All proceeds support CPAC and will help fund next year’s Veterans Workshop Series.


Originally launched in August 2017, the Veterans Workshop Series gives local U.S. military Veterans with a passion for photography access to advanced photographic education at no cost to them. Our aim is to provide participants with a high-quality experience, new skills and expertise they can leverage long after the program ends, and create an opportunity to engage Denver’s broader arts community through a public exhibition at our downtown gallery.

Over five months, participants learned to refine technical skills, hone ideas into a body of work, create a portfolio, write about their work, and present their projects to the community.

Each artist was asked to consider a personal project and to explore a narrative that goes beyond a single frame. The exhibition represents a broad range of subject matter because each project is a deeply personal expression of the individual. For example, Elane Graves incorporated her love of food photography to create a personal project of the importance of food and family. Chuck Rasco took his passion for Jeep culture to combine his love of the outdoors with the community he surrounds himself with.

As a mentor to the artists throughout this rigorous program, I have seen tremendous growth and development of each artist’s project. It has been my honor to work closely with them, hear their stories, and try to see the world though their eyes.

–Samantha Johnston
Executive Director, Colorado Photographic Arts Center


CPAC extends our deepest gratitude to our partners and sponsors for making this exhibition possible. The 2018 Veterans Workshop Series was created in partnership with Art of War Project and Task Force ISO. Funding for this program was generously provided by Arts in Society, a collaborative grant program funded by Hemera Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and Colorado Creative Industries, administered by RedLine. Additional support is provided by Reed Art & Imaging, Hahnemuhle Paper, Blurb, and Metropolitan Frame Company. We also wish to thank our wonderful workshop instructors: Frank Varney, Patti Hallock, Samantha Johnston and Paul Weinrauch.

Arts in Society logo
Reed Art & Imaging
Hahnemuhle Paper Makes the Difference
Metropolitan Frame Company