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Nourishment for the soul: Artistic Airman ‘draws’ on African-American heritage
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anthony Hurt, a reservist assigned to the 633rd Force Support Squadron, speaks about art and African-American History Month during an interview at the Community Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Feb. 6, 2012. In celebration of African American History Month, Hurt’s African-American art exhibit will be on display at the Community Center until Feb. 29, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John D. Strong II/Released)
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Nourishment for the soul: Artistic Airman 'draws' on African-American heritage

Posted 2/10/2012   Updated 2/13/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman John Strong
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/10/2012 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va.  -- In shades of gray, portraits line the walls of Langley's Community Center. Some faces are instantly recognizable, and some require a closer look. The collection depicts famous African-Americans throughout history, the bold inspiration for Master Sgt. Anthony Hurt's life's work, on canvas and in life.

Hurt has more than 10 portraits featured in a special exhibit celebrating black pioneers at the Community Center, part of the base's African-American History Month celebration in February.

Those honored in the exhibit range from famous African-Americans, like former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Colin Powell, George Washington Carver and Madam C.J. Walker, to lesser known contributors, such as ex-Air Force Capt. Lonnie Johnson, George Crum and George Grant.

"I want to give a bit of knowledge on some of the achievements that African-Americans have put forth over the past four hundred years," said Hurt, who serves in the 633rd Force Support Squadron. "Maybe it can inspire someone to go forth, and look up some of these things."

This is the second year Hurt is showcasing his art at the exhibit. People are noticing, and his intended purpose for the art is being recognized.

"Each year I look over the pictures as a reminder of the contributions that African Americans have made throughout the years," said Audrey Anderson, the Community Center's Ticket and Tours manager, about the artwork. "Even though some of them I know and some of them are new to me, I go back and look each day."

While visitors touring the exhibit will learn the history of the pioneers depicted in the portraits, Hurt's story is equally as intriguing. Hurt was born in Jersey City, N.J., and relocated with his family to Farmville, Va., six years later. While in high school, his artistic abilities were noticed, and requested by his peers and school officials.

His work is displayed not only in the Community Center, but appears permanently throughout several buildings on the installation. He uses a variety of art styles and techniques, paints and pencils to create his masterpieces.

While Hurt has enjoyed is career in uniform, he admits his passion burns at the tip of his pencils and brushes.

"I know where the term 'starving artist' came from," he said. "I'd rather create art than eat."

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