The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) is celebrating the gift of an original Heather Englehart painting that features service women.
The original painting was unveiled during a special donation ceremony inside the new Women’s Health clinic on the seventh floor of the new medical center last month. Veterans Bryon and Cindy Newton of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, along with their daughter Katherine Newton-Mott, donated the painting.
Army National Guard Major Heather Englehart is a New Orleans artist and architect who grew up in South Dakota. She is also the director of the Louisiana National Guard Museum’s division based at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans. Englehart is a decorated combat artist who deployed to Iraq with the Louisiana National Guard in 2002-2003. Some of her works are hosted as a permanent part of the U.S. Army Center for Military History’s collection in Washington, D.C.
The painting, depicting five service women, was created as a reminder to all of the pride, beauty, sacrifice and commitment that women continue to make in service to the nation.
Englehart was recently featured in the Women Veterans’ Art Exhibit, which was displayed during the month of March on the first floor concourse. Southeast Louisiana was one of only 10 VA medical facilities in the country that featured an art exhibit created by women Veterans during Women’s History Month.
Bryon and Cindy Newton and Katherine Newton-Mott are Veterans themselves and play a strong role in the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. Since 2007, they have been serving as volunteers at SLVHCS and this painting donation is just one more example of their commitment to Veterans and the mission here.
“My daughter and I served in the U.S. Navy and are very proud to be Veterans,” said Cindy Newton. “We work in our community and throughout the state to help all Veterans.”
Facility director Fernando Rivera received the Newton’s donation of the painting.
“It’s exciting to get a donation like this where there is a rich focus,” he said. “It is a welcoming treasure that reflects the diversity of our patients.”
The painting will be displayed in the women’s clinic to enhance the clinic environment and show support to the service women who supported our country.
“Lady Veterans have a special heart,” said Newton. “Service women have to stick together and support each other because we are Veterans just like the men who served.”
Donations from Veterans service organizations and individuals in the past have been used to support recreation therapy programs, the coffee program for Veterans waiting for appointments, various programs for homeless Veterans throughout southeast Louisiana and much more.
About the author: Debra Ceasar-Winbush is a public affairs specialist for the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System