Military spouse has art selected for local display
Stripes Guam | .
published: January 07, 2019
A military spouse currently living on Guam, Jeanie Lynn DeCandia, her husband and two daughters have, like many military families, called more than a few places home.
These many places have undoubtedly left a mark on DeCandia, who decided to pursue a life goal of becoming a full-time artist. The artist recently received recognition on the island by having one of her works of art selected to be displayed in a prestigious art exhibit on Guam.
DeCandia sat down with Stripes Guam to discuss her life as a military brat and now spouse, and her art, which is currently on display.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit of yourself and your background?
A. We all have a story to tell. Happy and sad moments, accomplishment and failures. I try and live my life, not only for myself, but to bring forth imagination and creativity to the few and many. As we get older in life, responsibilities and commitments tend to overshadow the joys we had as children. The art I create is a combination of my experiences, imagination and willingness to venture outside the box.
Q. What made you decide to pursue your dream of being a full-time artist?
A. When in my heart I knew another path was calling me, hesitation from fear overwhelmed my choices. We all need to stay grounded and continue to explore life’s positives and negatives in order to grow. Not only as an individual but as a family of the human race. At a point in my life, I was just merely having sparks of positives and negatives seemed to consume me. I was stuck. I was stuck in a life not my own. A life of wants before a life of needs. To pursue my dream of being a fulltime artist, as with any dream, you need to choose to make that first step. A step into the unknown, unfamiliar, unexplored. Realize the difference between Needs and Wants, surround yourself with Love, and know that anything is possible. Following my dreams has opened my eyes to an endless world of possibilities.
Q. You recently received recognition for one of your pieces. Can you tell us about that?
A. Isla Center for the Arts at the University of Guam had released they were accepting submissions for an upcoming exhibition titled: “Creative Hands: Selected Works by Pacific Artists”. Out of 118 submissions from 23 artists, Dr. Nancy Mithlo (juror) selected 26 works created by 15 artists for the exhibition. My sculpture piece titled: #23A was selected. I number my pieces instead of using a name for a title. So instead of using a title/description to explain my artwork, each individual searches within their own experiences in order to relate and create. I am so grateful and honored to have one my art pieces selected for this exhibition and thank you to Dr. Nancy Mithlo, Isla Center for the Arts and UOG!
Q. Has the military life had an impact on your art, and if so, in what ways?
A. Throughout my life, change is the one thing that is constant. Not only am I a military spouse but also a military brat. There is a saying “Home is where your heart is”; I live by “Your heart is where your home is.” No matter where you live, visit or explore, you bring your home with you *Your Heart*. By doing this, I have been able to truly absorb, appreciate and educate myself on many different cultures. Whether it is subconscious or conscious, the artwork I create is a “Never-ending Story” to be determined by each individual through experiences and realizations.
Q. What would you say to another military spouse that’s considering pursuing something similar?
A. As a child, I still remember exploring the world around me. Asking many questions. The world felt so big! As an adult, the world feels much smaller now. The pressures of social acceptance, struggles to make ends meet, roles to be played... am I living or existing? Trying to adapt to what is expected, sometimes in our most vulnerable state, we seek answers (as a child). Not understanding and searching for truth. Art is truth to me. (Art is everywhere and everyone creates art. When time seems nonexistent in the action of a hobby.) Exploring the unknown and listening. Listen to what your heart is telling you.
Q. What are your future goals with your artwork?
A. Being a local artist here in Guam with the Council of Arts and Humanities, I am continuously striving to share the love of art. Through my artwork I learn more and more about myself. Each experience and knowledge I consume inspires imagination to create something new. I will never give up. I will cherish my accomplishments and appreciate feedback to grow as an artist. Every day is a new beginning full of ideas to create.
Creative Hands: Selected Works by Pacific Artists
Location: Isla Center for the Arts, Dean Circle House #15
Period: Dec. 6 – Jan. 18
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Closed Sun. and holidays)
Admission: Free (donations appreciated)