Veterans Project

The Job

This project is to encase a 30’ elevator shaft in an art piece. It is the centerpiece at the Rocky Hill Veterans Housing Project which is a 39-unit affordable rental community for Veteran families and formerly homeless Veterans in Vacaville, CA.

The purpose of this piece is to welcome veterans and their families to their new home while showing the transformation each veteran experiences, and the strength required to do so. The main background of the piece is the American flag, a staple in showing the patriotism and heroism all veterans embody. The man holding up the child represents family and the sacrifice and service our veteran’s families have also given to this country. The child with outstretched arms like wings begins the symbolization of transformation and growth, which is carried out through the rest of the details in the piece. Veterans, after years of service, are faced with having to transform into a new life, a new community, and a new routine. The various birds, starting at the feet of the veteran and rising up to the top of the piece, are depicting this very transformation and growth our veterans go through. We start with crows rising from behind him, to eagles rising up above, to the final transformation into the Phoenix. The Phoenix mimics the journey of the downtrodden veteran; the man or woman who has risen from the ashes of homelessness to a new life, a family, and a community. In mythological symbolism, the Phoenix is associated with the sun and it obtains new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. Much like the Phoenix, many of our veterans have had to pull themselves out of a dark and desolate place, shedding the lives and pasts of their predecessor self. The hope with this piece is that our veterans, and their families, will see that like the Phoenix, they are strong, that they have the power to transform, and they will rise above with new wings.