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Arts Advocates

Arts Advocates Presents Veteran Artist Events in November

| Suncoast Post Staff |

Arts Advocates is pleased to feature its member artists who share the distinction of having served in the U.S. Armed Forces in an exhibit and an art talk in November. Both take place in the Arts Advocates Gallery, The Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Veteran Artist Exhibit
November 4-25, Saturdays only, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

featuring the works of Diana De Avila, Jessica Hartman, John Quigley, and Mark Wiseman

Diana de Avila has created over 2,000 digital art pieces rooted in fractal geometry, drawing inspiration from the convergence of quantum physics, chaos theory, and divine order. She co-authored “Soldier, Sister, Savant,” which details her journey to Acquired Savant Syndrome, a rare condition in which a person suddenly has a remarkable talent, and synesthesia, a condition in which the senses are intermingled. De Avila was training in the U.S. Army to become a combat military police officer when she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident. Years later, her fractal art emerged following a relapse of her existing multiple sclerosis.  

Veteran Artwork

Jessica Hartman’s dream of attending Ringling College of Art and Design was delayed by a family emergency. She attended community college and then spent nine years in the U.S. Navy working as an air traffic controller.

John Quigley is a third-year student at Ringling College of Art and Design with a major in illustration. Quigley said he always wanted to be a professional artist, but he didn’t know how to get there. He joined the U.S. Army after 9/11, serving in the infantry with multiple combat deployments working with Special Operations and Marine Regimental Combat teams. After his discharge, he transitioned to private military contracting performing security for government officials, high-ranking military officers, and diplomats from around the world. “My time in the U.S. Army gave me the confidence and financial backing to help me make my way to Ringling College.” He uses mixed media techniques to combine his love of photography, painting, and the thrill of finding new ways to use overlooked materials.

Art Student

Sarasota native Mark Wiseman was an outdoorsy kid who was also drawn to art. “I went to a private art class,” Wiseman said, “but I wanted to be outside. I wanted to get hurt, break bones, and get dirty.” He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years and did three overseas tours in places like Afghanistan, where he was exposed to street signs written in Arabic and Sanskrit. He says, “It looked like brushstrokes, and because I couldn’t read it, it was abstract art for me.” After he left the military, Wiseman experienced post-traumatic stress disorder; he found a way out through art therapy. Wiseman enrolled at Ringling College but realized he was more interested in getting real world experience. Today he creates calligraffiti, a style that is a mix of graffiti and calligraphy. Wiseman says, ““I cannot sit and paint. I like to flow, use my body—like a dance with the wall.”

Art Talk: Honoring Our Veteran Artists – Pursuing Dreams After a Military Career
November 10, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Hartman, Quigley, and Wiseman will discuss if and how their military careers influenced their art and their hopes for the future. Arts Advocates member price is $20; non-member price is $25. Registration is required at

Arts Advocates

To learn more about or become a member of Arts Advocates, or to register for events, visit Arts Advocates.

Photos from Arts Advocates

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