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Jeanine Hill-Soldner


Chicago area artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner is an award winning nationally recognized artist bringing more than 30 years of painting experience to her artwork. Born in Quantico, Virginia and raised in a military family she moved frequently. Her love of art began at an early age and continued as her lifelong passion. She holds a B A in Art Ed. from University of Florida and an M A in Art Ed. from University of Illinois. After many years of teaching she now focuses on painting, drawing and studio work. She is founder of "Portraits of American Veterans Project."


The Artist creates colorful, lyrical paintings with a focus on the figure and portraits working with drawing, oils and acrylic media. Her lifelong world travels have influenced her work. The Artist’s work has exhibited in museums and galleries in the U.S. including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Fine Art Florida State U., National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, Boston Fine Art Institute and more than 100 juried group and solo shows and can be found in public and private collections in the U.S. Germany and Ireland. She has been honored with features in many newspaper and magazine publications throughout the years. The Artist’s Profile is featured on the PBS program Real Simple TV nationwide WTTW Artbeat, Fox News Chicago and Northwest Herald Multimedia.


"My art has been described as innovative, powerful and thought provoking. By bridging the boundaries between abstraction and representation I reveal everyday moments with my unique visual language. I want to create new meanings from the everyday milieu, and capture the viewer’s imagination with rich content that illustrates life’s experiences through visual narrative. All subjects fill my portfolio, with the portrait and figure being dominant. I work from life, drawings, photographs, and a lot of imagination. I also believe that art is healing, and that art in all of its forms provide a connections to all of humanity throughout time.


Painting is a singular contemplative activity providing me with the unique opportunity to explore the limitless possibilities of space and time. From the idea in my mind’s eye to the final painting, there is no end to what can be achieved with oil paint’s sensuous qualities. Painting brings me closer the deepest and most sublime moments in life. I find a unique visual richness in the everyday world around me, and in the people, places and events that shape our time."-2011


Owner of Soldner Fine Art Studio located in the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Jeanine can be found painting almost every day. Original paintings and drawings are for sale and custom commissions are always welcome.



Paul Olsen


Born 1946, Hartford, CT
Served in Vietnam, Army 1969-1971
Phuc Long
MAT 15 (Mobile Advisory Team) with MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam)



John Hosier


Born 1947, Flint MI
Served in Vietnam, Army, 1967-1968
173rd Airborne Brigade, machine gunner & combat photographer
DASPO (Department of Army Special Photo Agency) 1971-1972


John Hosier, Jr. received several honors and medals including:

  • National Defense Service Medal

  • Good Conduct Medal

  • Vietnam Service Medal

  • Vietnam Campaign Medal

  • Combat Infantryman’s Badge

  • Army Commendation Medal w/V Device

  • Bronze Star Medal w/V Device

  • Purple Heart

After Mr. Hosier’s discharge, he obtained two bachelor’s degrees and two masters degrees with a concentration in Southeast Asian studies and the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on Vietnam War combatants. Hosier now resides in the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area and has developed a traveling exhibit called "Through Their Eyes", a combination of his photography and memorabilia of the Vietnam War.



Richard J. Olsen


As a pilot flying a helicopter, I read Ho Chi Minh's writings, and I understand that we were involved in a world process, not a local insurrection. That year in Vietnam, if it didn't kill me, would form the rest of my life, especially my life as an artist.


The helicopter we used then, the CH-21, was obsolete and hard to fly. It had been designed for the arctic, not the tropics. Flying it was a performance; it took a certain skill, daring, and a sense of the urgency of the mission; it had to do with functioning under tension. It had to do with expecting a surprise at all times. You were always thinking about emergency procedures, getting hit in the flight controls, the blades, the transmission, the torque tubes, about fuel running low, being over enemy territory, about where to go in a forced landing, returning to a friendly place. Everything at once. Like art.


Toward the last day of my tour I began to know that I had to stay alive in order to paint. Then and only then I began to feel the need not to get wasted—I began to feel awe and wonder at the miraculous experience of staying alive. I saw that the same sense of urgency I felt in Vietnam was needed for painting. Being a painter, one continues to live at that level of urgency. My paintings, drawings, and prints after I returned from Vietnam oiled the gears of my deep engagement in art, heightened and liberated my convictions about the war, and what art could be and needs to be. I felt, and still do, that in order to paint one must be inside life, death, so hard that everything is understood, dealt with, nothing left out. The idea, the urge to paint is clear, but the painting must make it on its own terms, visually, not verbally. All LZs are hot; art is hot, or it doesn't exist.


I came back to the United States and found the art of the 1960s, which was asking the question: How do you create unusual art? How do you set up the audience to expect one thing, and then ambush them with a surprise? Alan Kaprow was making the first Happenings and I know that flying a helicopter in combat was way beyond, but similar to, the thing he was after: Vietnam was a Happening. The art that comes out of Vietnam is authentic; it has historical momentum; there is a history being made in the painting while it is being painted. It is a mark on the earth.


The art is THE. I want to make an art that is THE.

John Shimashita




(Born 1945, Poston, Arizona in a Japanese Internment Camp)
Served in Korea and Vietnam near Danang, Army 1967-1969, 
Third Generation Japanese American (Sansei)


John Shimashita was a Photolab Specialist and received the National Defense Service Medal. He was one of the original members of the Vietnam Veterans Art Group in Chicago, which later became the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, and is now known as the National Veterans Art Museum. Shimashita’s work was featured in the book “Vietnam: Reflexes and Reflections” and he later went on to a civilian career in television broadcasting.



Gary Wick


(Born 1941, Chicago, IL) 
Served in Vietnam, Army 1967-68


Gary Wick is a Chicago born artist who currently works with soft pastels. He is primarily a studio painter preferring to work from photographs he shoots. He does commission work from client's photographs only if he likes the subject matter. His ability to create realistic paintings from photographs is a testimony to his close relationship with both media.


Gary has been involved with art since childhood and basically is self taught. He has studied with professional artists over the years and has taken classes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a youngster when he was recommended by one of his elementary school teachers; and again after he returned from Vietnam for a period of time. He is a member of various art organizations and the La Grange Art League where he teaches pastels and facilitates workshops.


Gary’s basis for painting is "paint what you see," which results in realistic art. He expresses his philosophy stating, "I prefer to document what I see rather than slap paint on a canvas abstractly. I'm a realist and I see life and art in that light."


In 1998 Gary became a displaying art member at The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum which is permanently located in Chicago, Illinois. This was a proud moment in his life. With the paintings he has hanging in the museum, he feels he has received the acknowledgement he has needed since he returned from Vietnam in 1968 and that act has brought closure to war for him. His paintings do not show the blood and guts of war but a view of humans caught up in their thoughts, thinking of today, or tomorrow, or of home.


"Fine art, in my belief, does not have to match the color of a wall or the furniture in a room, it should be something that you enjoy each time you look at it. Think about what you see around a painting when you are really absorbed into a painting. I hope it isn't the furniture. Great art can hang anywhere. Enjoy what you see."



László Kondor


(Born 1940, Fugyivasarhely, Hungary)
Served in Vietnam, Army, 70-71
DASPO (Department of the Army Special Photographic Office),
American Division, Chu Lai,
Combat Photographer, 1969-70


I was with the line company in an area called the Barrier Islands, a coastal plain with sand dunes wedged between the sea and the rice paddies. I was attached to an infantry squad with a machine gunner named Pineapple. Pineapple had earned his nickname because of the scars of childhood acne. He was short, squat, and bowlegged, and he was the pigman. The grunts called the M-60 machine gun the pig and the man who carried it was the pigman. Pineapple was a good pigman. He carried the pig slung on his shoulder, from which position he could fire standing up. Pineapple was nineteen and had been in Nam for a year. He could sense from twenty-five yards what I could not see from ten feet.



Paul Beitler


Served in Vietnam, near DaLat, 1969


Mr. Beitler served in the Vietnam War where he earned the Army’s Bronze Star. He returned to the United States and eventually began his career as a commercial real estate broker in Chicago.


Beitler is the founder of Beitler Real Estate Services LLC which provides experienced and superior real estate solutions to all its clients in Chicago, the Midwest and beyond. Beitler Real Estate


Services LLC is a full service commercial real estate firm specializing in development, tenant representation, construction, investment services including: property management, consulting, disposition and acquisition of properties and also, interior facility development and management. Over the course of Beitler’s 30 year real estate career, he has achieved a remarkable financial success record for his partners and investors. Beitler has been responsible for the development of over 10 million square feet of Class A office space, including some of the largest and most architecturally distinguished buildings in the city and suburbs. Many of these developments sold for the highest values in the history of Chicago providing unprecedented financial returns for investors.



Charlie Shobe


(Born 1940 Petersburg, WV and Died 2011)
Served in Vietnam, 1967 Marine Corps, 1st Battalion,
4th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division, DMZ, Dong Ha,
C-2 Firebase, Con Thien, Camp Evans, and the Khe Sanh area,/reaction-force platoon commander, December 1967


Throughout his life, Charlie Shobe enjoyed travels to wild and exotic parts of the world, produced treasured works of art, jammed on his bass guitar with fellow musicians and loved big gatherings of family and friends--especially by the pool. He loved skiing, scuba diving, and gardening. He shared his joy of life with his students, friends, and family. Charlie was a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968. As a professional artist, his paintings of this experience are on display in the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago,IL. Charlie was one of a small group of the original Vietnam Veterans Artists Group whose works toured the United States and led to the creation of the National Museum. Though he was proud to have volunteered for military service, he became a lifelong advocate for peace and diplomacy "Flying over the DMZ with the company payroll in a metal ammo box, I sit on the floor of a windy, rattling old helicopter, watching the hundreds of bomb craters pass below; filled with water, surreal, like the surface of some imaginary green planet."



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