North Central News

Portraits painted by ex-president on display

The Arizona Historical Society, in partnership with Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, will host “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” a special exhibit from the George W. Bush Institute, beginning Oct. 19.

Growing out of President George W. Bush’s personal commitment and the ongoing work of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, “Portraits of Courage” brings together 66 full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of 98 service members and veterans who have served our nation with honor since 9/11, and whom the president has come to know personally since leaving office. The Arizona Historical Society’s Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park in Tempe is one of just four venues nationwide selected to host the paintings this year.

Each featured painting is accompanied by the inspiring story of the warrior depicted, written by President Bush. As the stories unfold, readers and visitors will encounter the faces and the hearts of those who answered the nation’s call and learn of their bravery on the battlefield, their journey to recovery, and the continued leadership and contribution they make as civilians.

In addition to the collection of portraits, the exhibit includes information and resources created by the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative that visitors can use to learn how to better support post-9/11 warriors in their communities. These resources are intended to help bridge the military-civilian divide.

The paintings featured in Portraits of Courage are also the subject of a hardcover book by the same name, available now in stores and online. President Bush is donating 100 percent of his profits from the book to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.

The paintings will be on display through Dec. 29, inside the Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park, 1300 N. College Ave., Tempe. Admission to “Portraits of Courage” is included with tickets to the center. Adults admission is $12; seniors 65+ pay $10; children ages 7-17 get in for $8; and children 6 and younger, Arizona Historical Society members, military and veterans admitted for free. Two-for-one admission is offered on the first Tuesday of the month.

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