Members of the U.S. Army Museum Enterprise and U.S. Embassy staff in France at the exhibit.
Members of the U.S. Army Museum Enterprise and U.S. Embassy staff in France at the exhibit. (Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy, France) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — Three U.S. Army artists-in-residence presented five pieces of their artwork on October 9th at the 23rd Annual French Army Art Exhibit at the Manège royal de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. The exhibit runs through November 21st.

The current U.S. Army artist, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer and his predecessor Sgt. 1st Class Curt Loter attended in person, each presenting one piece of their artwork. Former Army artist, Sgt. 1st Class Juan C. Munoz, had three pieces of artwork on display but did not attend.

This year’s theme is “Cohesion, Together to Act.” All five pieces of artwork presented reflect the U.S. Army theme of cohesion and teamwork.

“I felt a great sense of pride representing the U.S. Army at the exhibit.” Said Spencer. “My painting ‘Through the Smoke’ shows the moment when basic trainees transition from civilians to Soldiers in front of their families, it shows that they are now part of the Army team.”

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer paints a watercolor of Omaha Beach
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer paints a watercolor of Omaha Beach (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Curt Loter) VIEW ORIGINAL
Omaha Beach watercolor by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Omaha Beach watercolor by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer at the exhibit with his artwork "Through the Smoke"
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer at the exhibit with his artwork "Through the Smoke" (Photo Credit: COL Bryan W. Hunt) VIEW ORIGINAL
Point du Hoc sketch by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Point du Hoc sketch by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Spencer ) VIEW ORIGINAL

Accompanying the artists in France was Col. Bryan W. Hunt, the Director of the Army Museum Enterprise. “We are honored to be a part of this first international exhibition that includes the Army Art program,” said Hunt. “No matter what country you come from, sharing stories in art are universal to all soldiers. This is a great way to understand a Soldier’s experience.”

At the opening event, the U.S. Army Art team was thanked for their participation by senior French generals and the American Embassy military attaché. This event built a stronger bond and working relationship between the American and French Army museums and art programs.

“Our participation was a significant step in developing a mutual understanding of Army art methods and styles and establishing relationships between our museums.” Hunt said.

After the exhibit, the Army team visited with French artists and museum professionals at the French Army Museum in Paris, Musee de l’Armee at Le Invalides. Spencer said, “It was great to meet the French artists and share methods and emotions to tell soldier stories.”

The artists took time to visit Normandy and prepared several sketches of Omaha Beach and Point Du Hoc. Spencer is already producing several watercolor paintings based off his sketches with water from Omaha beach.

Sgt. 1st Class Curt Loter at the Exhibit with his artwork, "Better with a Team."
Sgt. 1st Class Curt Loter at the Exhibit with his artwork, "Better with a Team." (Photo Credit: COL Bryan W. Hunt) VIEW ORIGINAL

Reflecting on his experiences at the exhibit, Spencer noted the differences between the French and American approach to Army art.

“In the U.S. Army, we focus our artwork more on individual moments in a Soldiers day or an operation, the French do that but more through the lens of the individual soldier and their emotions.”

Regardless of their approach, Spencer observed that “Language challenges didn’t matter, there was a commonality between artists in passion and creative ways to tell Soldier stories.”

The Army Artist-in-Residence program is part of the Army Museum Enterprise which manages 30 Army museums at 26 locations in the United States, Korea and Germany. The AME is a directorate of the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

For more information about the U.S. Army Center of Military History or for media queries please contact the CMH Public Affairs Officer, Mr. F. Lee Reynolds, at francis.l.reynolds.civ@army.mil.