ABOUT "Before They're Gone" & Photographer D. Clarke Evans
EXHIBIT SPONSORED BY: American Bank
Dick Cole's story changed the course of my life. We met at one of the first Monday of the month breakfasts I attend with other Marines, in which we honor World War II Veterans. I started attending these breakfasts several years ago when I began photographing and interviewing U.S. Marines. However, I had too little time to fully pursue the project as I was team photographer for the San Antonio Spurs. That Monday, when Lt. Col. Cole (in his 90's like all WWII vets) told me his story, I knew that I needed to take these photos and give testimony to these stories now! After 25 years as the Spurs photographer, I retired to begin the project “Before They're Gone: Portraits & Stories of World War II Veterans".
Dick Cole was Medal of Honor recipient Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot during the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942. It was the U.S.'s response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Cole is a genuine American hero, one of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation".
In this project, I honor veterans by revealing snapshots of their lives. Each is photographed and interviewed at home, offering a fuller picture of their life before, during and after their service. This project will preserve important stories and memories of World War II veterans. Each participant is thanked with a 7xl1 photo from your photo session framed to 14x17, plus copies for their children. The project has resulted in museum and gallery exhibitions and eventually a book.
These rapidly disappearing men and women represent this "greatest generation" of more than 16 million Americans who served. Fewer than 390,000 remain, and approximately 490 die each day. Soon there will be no veterans alive to recount their experiences. This urgency propels me to take their portraits and record their stories now.
D. Clarke Evans
Clarke, a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography, served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 19641970 and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He has a Master of Arts degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University. He is a Past President of the Texas Photographic Society (TPS), www.texasphoto.org, a non-profit fine arts photographic organization. Under his leadership, TPS sponsored 54 exhibitions that were shown in 21 Texas cities, New York, Florida & California. Through sister organizations in Europe, TPS exhibited Texas artists in France, Italy, Germany, and Greece. While Clarke was President, membership increased from 100 Austin-based members to over 1,250 from 48 States and 11 countries. The Board of Directors honored him with the title of President Emeritus.
Our constant and ever-faithful exhibit for our current members. Artwork changes out every two months and promises to have a large variety of wonderful work by our always improving active artists. Comes complete with a wide variety of prices and artistic inspiration!
This exhibit is everything you see in our hallways, front desk area, and the small gallery by the offices.