MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s SMP sponsored art show was held at the Sonoran Pueblo, Jan. 25 – Feb. 8. This display was the first of its kind and featured paintings, photographs, sketches and constructions from across the air station.
“Who would have thought a trained killer would be doing lotus blossoms,” said Jude Crouch, the MCAS Yuma SMP coordinator. “It’s neat for the artists themselves. A lot of artists didn’t want people to know they draw or sponge paint in their rooms, but they’ve received a ton of great feedback for the art they brought out. It fills me with joy, to be honest with you.”
SMP put on the show not only as a demonstration of what these artists can do, but also as an effort to get Marines to apply themselves to something wholesome and worthwhile in their free time.
“The reason we are doing the art show is to get people involved with healthy hobbies,” said Crouch, a native of Yuma, Ariz. “And art is a great healthy hobby. It’s a great way to express yourself safely and productively, and this event shows it.”
Additionally, the event served as a gathering of a community whose members do not see much of each other. This was a chance for closet artists to come out, appreciate the work of themselves and others and exchange the thoughts and ideas behind their masterpieces.
“There were some really cool people here,” said Deanna Jones, an artist whose husband works at Marine Aircraft Group 13 communications. “I’m an introvert, and it was nice to have a chance to meet other artists.”
Through the success of this year’s display of expressionism, Yuma’s SMP hopes other installations’ counterparts will take up the banner, canvas in this case, and offer a time for their personnel to proudly display their creative efforts.
“It’s nice to have something you worked on for hours up where other people can see it,” said Cpl. Natalie Henderson, a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13 airframes hydraulic mechanic and who hails from Salt Lake City. “I was kind of surprised at the feedback I got… Everyone who was there had good things to say.”
Hopefully, through the artwork the shows inspire, Marines will experience more than pride, but healing as well.
“We have so many people coming back from deployments having a pretty difficult time,” stated Crouch. “Instead of expressing yourself through your fists or expressing yourself at the bottom of the bottle, we should be encouraging them to put something down on a piece of paper, or pick up a paintbrush. Self-expression is healthy.”
This art show illuminates how much more Marines have to offer beneath their professional and sometimes rough exteriors. For all we know, lurking beneath the nearest suit of MARPAT may lay the vision and talent of the next Picasso, Rembrandt, or Van Gogh.