Veteran shares personal journey through ‘Art of War’

Creating art is where Phillip Moore finds peace.

"Something that nobody can tell you that's right or wrong," he said. "It's something that any way that you feel, no matter how bad or good or confused or angry, you can absolve that feeling outward through art in any way, shape or form."

The Army veteran struggled with PTSD. He said this creative outlet helped him deal with some difficult emotions. 

"Spending time overseas, I struggle with a lot of things," Moore continued. "There's a lot of triggers that go on daily and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about being over there but I'm very grateful for the community being here."

A big part of that community is the North Port Art Center where he honed his skills. 

"That has been the place where I can gain any sort of calm no matter what I'm doing," Moore said.

He's combining his creative talents with his Army background for a showing of his work at the center called "Art of War."

"What it is composed of is 18 soft pastel paintings that I did from photographs that I took while serving over three different deployments. None of it is graphic. It's all just snapshots that were short enough that we were able to capture those nice moments and be able to share with somebody back here," he explained.

Moore said working on these pieces transported him back to his time serving in Iraq. 

"I remember when I was going back and forth from the canvas to the photo, I was picking up noises from that specific situation and I was smelling things and hearing things and I was speaking out loud certain things that I remember. And getting that out simultaneously is something that I wouldn't have necessarily felt better about if I hadn't got it out that way. I don't think it would have come out so healing if it was just describing it to somebody."

He's had a challenge as an artist – he’s color blind. But he finds a way around it. 

"I can't really see the difference in the color so what I'll do is I'll actually try to use colors that are very high contrast and high resolution. I pack in a lot of resolution to make it to where I can see the color," he said. 

"That blows my mind. It really does," offered Karen Frustereo, the president of the North Port Art Center. "It's a stretch for him. To be able to do the type of artwork and show the color, the vibrancy of art that he's able to put on canvas or on paper. Seeing it differently and coming out that way is just amazing to me."

It's an outlet adding color that he can feel. 

"Every day that I'm out here living. I'm trying to chase my joy. It's tough enough that people go their whole life without knowing what it is that they want to drive after, and I'm lucky to live through what I lived, to chase my joy and maybe the retrospect for others that just couldn't," Moore added.

"Art of War" will be on display at the North Port Art Center, located at 5950 Sam Shapos Way in North Port, Thursday, November 11, from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. 


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