What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Homegrown Hero


Jeffrey Stenbom

Today is Memorial Day, and in honor of those who have served, I wanted to take a look at an artist who is also a military veteran.

Jeffrey Stenbom grew up in the American Midwest where he was attending art college. But just eight days after 9/11, the brave young man joined the Army. After a rough deployment in Iraq, the young man returned to the States, injured in both mind and body. He knew he needed to find a way to work through his PTSD, but he wasn’t sure where to turn. Luckily for us all, he decided to try returning to art and began working with glass.

“Creating art is an escape for me. It is my outlet from within, from the confines of my own mind. The experiences I had in the military and particularly in Iraq shaped who I have become as a person. I do not always know how to interpret my thoughts and memories of these experiences in words, so art becomes my medium.”

-Jeffrey Stenbom Artist Statement

Stenbom’s work is undeniably powerful and impactful. I feel like it’s going to be one I will remember forever.

I found today’s artist through an amazing organization, the United States Veterans’ Artist Alliance. The USVAA was founded in 2004 by military veterans who wanted to highlight the work of fellow veterans in the arts, humanities, and entertainment industries.

You can follow Jeffrey Stenbom on his website and on Instagram. And you can learn more about the USVAA and explore more of their artists on the organization’s website.

View this post on Instagram

Pictured: Jeffrey Stenbom, “Every Year”, 2017; kilnformed glass A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs included over 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014, gathered from every state in the US. The report revealed that an average of 20 veterans commit suicide nationwide each day; 7300 veterans commit suicide every year. “After serving in the United States Army and being deployed to Iraq, I faced new challenges dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was not sure what to do with my life. I was fortunate to get back into art and start learning the medium of glass. Being wounded and dealing with the pains of combat (both mentally and physically) takes a toll on a person. These experiences have led me to search for passionate and creative means of exploring my emotions, political beliefs, personal views of the world around me and psychological distress.” – Jeffrey Stenbom More info at link in the bio This work is on view during “Mutual Intelligibility”, a group exhibition featuring work by: Helen Lee, Anna Mlasowsky, and Jeffrey Stenbom Bullseye Projects is open Veterans Day weekend Friday and Saturday from noon – 5pm #JeffreyStenbom #EveryYear #Veteran #VeteransDay #MutualIntelligibility #BullseyeProjects #ContemporaryArt #ContemporaryGlass #ContemporaryCraft #GlassArt #Glass #ConceptArt #Communication #Installation #BullseyeGlass #BullseyeGlassCo

A post shared by Bullseye Projects (@bullseyeprojects) on

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

7 thoughts on “Homegrown Hero

  1. There is just no way to understand what some of our heros went through and are stil dealing with. My BnL is one and it effects us all .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. This is powerful stuff and very moving. I certainly understand how therapeutic art can be but, having never served in the military, I cannot even fathom what veterans have experienced and how they begin to process their experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.