Meet the Artists Featured in SHOUT! 2017

SHOUT! 2017 is nearly here. Our featured artists will showcase their art to represent the theme of Self and Transition as it relates to their experiences as women veterans.

Join us on March 16, 6 – 8 pm at Zendesk (1019 Market Street) to view the art and attend the forum discussing their experiences as women veterans returning to civilian life.

Barbara Ann Lee

Barbara was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated in 1983 from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. She enlisted in the United States Air Force in May 1985. During her military service she was a career field logistics. She later attended Technical School at Lowry Airbase in Colorado. Her first duty station was Howard Air Force base in the Republic of Panama from 1985-1987. Her second duty station was Luke Air Force base outside of Phoenix, Arizona from 1987-1992.

She received an Honorable discharge from the military in September 1992 and went on to attended California School of Professional Psychology. She earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology and Psy.D (abd). For 17 years she practiced as a licensed mental health therapist in Phoenix, AZ and Paducah, KY. After a three-year VA claims process she was rated 100% “total, permanent individual unemployable.” Barbara has used art since 2006 to facilitate her healing process.

“I consider myself to be a reluctant artist. I didn’t particularly enjoy art growing up. The only art class I ever took was art history. After years of trying to suppress my pain and anger, art entered my life when I needed it the most. I realized I had cut myself off from art in the mistaken belief that an appreciation of beauty somehow negated my suffering. Art has helped me to understand that joy and pain can coexist. The creative process allows me to get out of my head and feel. I enjoy a variety of art mediums. I fully embrace the titles of artist and poet.”


Stina Oliver

​Stina is a 33 year old Marine Corps veteran, as well as a wife, mother of three, and a photographer. Her photography is very much an outlet for her, as well as a healing tool. It has allowed her to find beauty in the ordinary and show others how she views the world.

“When I joined the Marine Corps at 18, I was at my peak health. I ran track and field in high school, I was a black belt in karate, and I enjoyed being physically active in general. My life was so full of amazing potential, and I thought joining the Marines would not only make me stronger, but help me to finance my dreams. However, shortly after joining, I was injured and traumatized.

This series of photos expresses my journey from happy and hopeful, through the feelings of confusion, anger, despair and defeat. The Saran Wrap represents the barriers that I didn’t see coming as well as the barriers that others can’t see when looking at me. My disabilities are hidden, but not any less real. Photographing this set of images has helped me process much of what I feel on a day to day basis, and hopefully conveys to a wider audience how it feels to live with an ‘invisible illness’. This series is simply titled ‘Barrier’.”


Bert Leaverton

Bert was born and raised in Dawson County, Nebraska and graduated from Cozad High School in 1978. After high school, she joined the Army National Guard and remained affiliated with the Army and Army Reserve for more than twenty years. Throughout her life, photography has remained her passion. Bert’s deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004 allowed her to return with hundreds of photographs, documenting history through her eyes. In 2010, Bert returned to school and in 2014, she graduated with high honors from Metro Community College, Elkhorn, Nebraska, with an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Still Photography. Bert lives with husband, James Leaverton and Mom, Alice Cunningham outside of Weeping Water, Nebraska.

Her current work, “Tour of Duty: Iraq,” is a series of dioramas in miniature, 1/35th scale that depict the realities of war with images of “soldiers” in various scenarios.Bert has been actively involved in several gallery and museum exhibitions to include; Apollon Gallery, New Century Art Guild, Robert Henri Gallery, Commonwealth Gallery, SHOUT! Swords to Plowshares, RG Endres Gallery, 100th Meridian Museum, KC Pure Pursuit Automotive, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Joslyn Art Museum and most recently was a recipient in the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards for best group exhibition, Nebraska Rising, featuring nine images from her series.

“Less than six weeks after my Dad’s death in the winter of 2002, I was activated with the 530th Military Police Battalion from Omaha, Nebraska, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  I had less than 48 hours to report to a unit I was not familiar with, gear packed and ready to deploy to a very unstable country, Iraq.  My husband was already in route to Bosnia leaving the very day I got my call.

While still in the States, I started a journal, which continued most of my deployment. I wanted to preserve as much as possible; I felt I was making history. My journal along with my camera became the closest thing to my soul. When going out on missions, I would leave a magazine of ammo back in my quarters just to slip my camera in my ammo pouch. My camera soon became as much as a part of daily wear as my dog tags.

My journal and photographs made in Iraq were the point of departure for my series, “Tour of Duty: Iraq.” In these miniature, 1/35th scale models I have created and photographed my year of boots on the ground. The images are a symbolic representation of what occurred during this time in my life.  The process of creating this work has truly served as therapy for me, a combat veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”


Teri McCans

For Teri, creating art is an opportunity to transform her experiences into a visual language that is accessible, yet reflects the world’s complexity. Her work is a testament of a true dedication to being witness to the world around her and an obligation she feels to inspire others with her experiences. McCans continues to draw significant inspiration from her two overseas combat tours in Iraq, previous service as a firefighter, and her current role in law enforcement. These experiences give her a unique perspective on the world and affect her work profoundly.

Her work explores themes of conflict and the ideas of stability vs. fragility, strength vs. weakness, and male vs. female. Although her work is influenced from personal narrative, she has been praised for how her use of color, shape, and form is universal and recognizable. McCans’ art career has been continually developing and expanding over the past decade. She has participated in multiple local and international exhibitions, spanning as far as Lisbon, Portugal. Her artwork has been displayed at both the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, California.

“I am drawn to striking, graphical images that are both powerful and beautiful. I am drawn to human and natural forms, both their absence and presence. Depending on the body of work I am creating, I use both absence and presence as a method to influence the perception of the viewer. I translate my personal response to conflict through a meticulous control of color, a clean aesthetic, and a deliberate use of negative space.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, I gravitate towards watercolor. Because of its calming and near-medicinal characteristics, it serves as a counterpoint to these themes. My presentation acknowledges the beauty that surrounds conflicts and makes the work accessible.

I am fortunate to have discovered my artistic voice at an early age. It has served to be my passion, my life, and a method of decompression. I will continue to be inspired by the conflicts that surround us, stories of memories and dreams.

My experiences have shown me the best and worst of humanity. They have filled me with incredible sadness, joy, shame, and pride. Through my experiences in the military, as a firefighter, and a police officer, I have experienced firsthand the intersection of tragedy and beauty. My artwork is an attempt to process this dichotomy; to give order, cleanliness, and detail to chaos.

My compositions explore strained conflicts between stability vs. fragility, strength vs. weakness, and male vs. female. Many times, these compositions are so specifically narrative that I could never expect the viewer to completely absorb my point of view, but instead I encourage them to embrace their emotive content and to find a connection with whatever speaks to them the most; whether it be color, form, concept, or mood.”


Trish Brownlee

Trish is a North Carolina-based artist, educator and veteran. She served for over seven years as a photographer in the U.S. Air Force & Army National Guard. After being medically discharged in 2011, Trish completed her master’s in fine arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2015. She nows lead the arts integration program at a unique public charter school in Fayetteville, North Carolina while exhibiting her work and running community art workshops.

Trish lives in Hope Mills, North Carolina with her husband, a disabled combat veteran and their children. For more information, visit trishbrownlee.com.