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Alum Pino organizes 'In Good Company,' which spotlights artwork of veterans

November 16, 2018

Before earning her bachelor of fine arts degree from UW-Madison in 2011, Yvette Pino served as a sergeant with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

In a recent interview with the local Isthmus newspaper, Pino recalls her time in the military, remembering how art affected her life during her deployment.

 “(I was) the soldier running around the desert with a paint bucket,” Pino tells the Isthmus. “ … People probably thought I was crazy, chasing all those drivers down and yelling, ‘I need to paint your doors!’… But it really was my job.”

After returning to the U.S., while receiving her degree from the School of Education’s Art Department, Pino found difficulty relating to her fellow students. Most of her peers didn’t have the experience she did in the military and therefore had trouble connecting to her stories and work in class. After finding UW Vets for Vets, a student organization built to supports veterans, Pino took inspiration from her own struggles and started Veteran Print Project to respond to the frustrations of veterans returning to school and civilian life.

Recently, Pino organized a citywide dialogue between veterans, artists and the public called, “In Good Company: An Exposition of Emerging Veteran Artists.” More than 20 artists will be showcasing works at 11 venues throughout the city during November. Nov. 11 marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. 

"In Good Company" featured veteran artists, like Josh Zeis, using art as a way to express what they experienced while in service. Zeis’s contribution to this event included sculptures made of clay and disabled IEDs, representing what the land looked like after an IED went off.

Pino hopes “In Good Company: An Exposition of Emerging Veteran Artists” will help people gain a deeper understanding of the veteran experience.

To learn more check out the Isthmus report here