Arts & Culture,
Military & Veterans Organizations,
Mission: The Portrait of a Warrior Gallery Kern County is established to enhance our community by creating portraits of our Post 9/11 Fallen Service
Members; working directly with their Gold Star Families to keep their
memories alive and portray these heroes through art, education & services
for our local Veterans, their families & our community.
Results: In 2017, Al Sandrini, who serves on the Honor Flight Kern County Board saw a YouTube video of a gallery in Baytown, Texas titled, "Portrait of a Warrior Gallery, Baytown" where an 80+ year-old US Air Force Veteran, Ken Pridgeon had taken on the personal task of painting over 600 Texans who had given their lives in sacrifice to their country. Lili Marsh, the founder of Honor Flight Kern County worked with Thomas Zachary, who is the artist who painted the Patriotic Mural downtown Bakersfield and asked him if he could paint portraits and he said yes. Lili enlisted Sergeant Major Retired, Jason Geis to get the project from a vision to a reality over the next year. The citizens and business owners of Kern County stepped up with over $300,000 in donation, labor and materials to turn this space at 1925 Eye Street, Bakersfield, California, 93301 to an honorable gallery where we honor our 27 Fallen Heroes who have paid the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to our country in Iraq & Afghanistan. Opening day was September 10th, 2018 and there were nearly 1,000 community members in attendance. We are here to honor our Fallen from all wars and eras as well as appreciate and respect our Gold Star Families from Kern County. 22 of the 27 Gold Star families were in attendance on opening day and over 90 Gold Star families members attended. We continue to complete paintings with artist Nellie Scarborough to this day.
The Portrait of a Warrior Gallery Vision is to NEVER allow our Fallen Heroes memories to fade; but to keep them vibrantly alive through portrait display, biographies, education and to continue forward progress to grow and develop within our scope of design to bring healing within our communities Veteran population and educate our community through ever-changing displays which grow and develop through time.
Portrait of a Warrior Gallery Values:
•Help (our community; especially our Gold Star Families & Veterans)
•Educate (our community & visitors and prevent Veteran Suicide)
•Remember (to take time for our Fallen Heroes & their families)
•Obligation (to keep our Warrior’s memories alive)
•Endeavour (to do our very best and give our very best)
•Selfless Service (volunteerism & fellowship; lead by example)
Target demographics: Gold Star Families memorialize their Fallen Warriors
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,500 Veterans, their Family Members, Gold Star Families & Community Members
Geographic areas served: Kern County (Bakersfield) California
Programs: portraits, bio plates, resource room, Vietnam Room, Team Room, Education Room, MIA Remembered Non For Profit, & Veteran Suicide Awareness