Veterans Educational Historic Monument

Air Force

Air Force Update

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This provides an update about the Air Force painting, as of March 26th. The lower right hand corner is really taking shape with the flesh colors slowly being added to the main portraits. In addition the central figure commemorating the lady pilots of World War 2 shuttling aircraft from factory to military bases around the world has begun. Starting next week I will begin placing the 3 main figures on the lower left hand corner of the composition stay tuned for updated images.

Air Force painting–end of January!

Air Force painting as of 01/27/19

Air Force painting as of 01/27/19. Loads of work on B.G. Sandy Best (lower right), clipping along 


Norwegian Home Guard Exchange 2019

Navy Captain Jon Ivar Kjellin has been posing in the studio for his drawing, which is presented as part of the gift exchange at the closing banquet. While at the studio, B.G Lowell Kruse stopped by, and Kjellin shared another of his talents by playing some music on his trumpet.


We look forward to welcoming this year’s U.S. Norwegian Home Guard Exchange (NOREX) which will take place February 15 -17, 2019 at Camp Ripley.  For the past five years, as part of the Exchange, artist Charles Kapsner has had the distinct honor of hosting the senior officer from the Norwegian Home Guard at his studio. As has become tradition, the senior officer sits for an official drawing. Kapsner will create a portrait drawing of this year’s lead officer, Navy Captain Jon Ivar Kjellin. ​

Past portrait drawings have been completed for Lieutenant Colonel Børge Gamst (2018); Colonel Karl-Henrik Fossmann (2017), Lieutenant Colonel Per Olav Vaagland (2016); Lieutenant Colonel Ingvar Seland (2015) and Colonel Rolf Wold (2014). As part of the visit, gifts are exchanged, and each receives his portrait sketch when he departs for Norway.

Below are images from the 2018 visit by Lieutenant Colonel Børge Gamst, including his visit to the studio, during his portrait session and the presentation of his portrait at the farewell dinner.

Happy 2019!

2019 reflects the 10th year of this outstanding Monument, including its final painting of the Air Force.

A new year offers time for reflection, but more so, looking ahead. In this year, the fifth and final painting will be installed, wrapping up a truly monumental effort. Artist Charles Kapsner shared:  “It’s been a great honor to work on this and as I sit in the studio with the close of this project upon me, I cannot help but reflect the first brushstrokes put on the Army canvas in 2010 and thinking there is a lot of paint to be applied. And now, here I am near the end.” Below is the image of the Air Force painting as of January 11th, 2019. More to come…


U.S. Air Force painting update, January 11,2019

Kapsner named Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master

This fall, Art Renewal Center announced Charles Kapsner as a new ARC Associate Living Master™ . ARC was founded in 1999 for the advancement of skill-based training in the visual arts. ARC Affiliation falls under three separate categories which are decided by at least four members of the board of judges. ARC, having become the center for artists, collectors, and scholars, is the defining force for Contemporary Realism and excellence.

As an Associate Living Master, Kapsner has dedicated himself to becoming a realist artist with the wish to express our shared humanity through the visual arts. In addition, Kapsner has shown significant skill in all of the basic building blocks of great art: accurate drawing, compositional sensibilities, effective use of lighting, the technical ability to use modeling, glazing /scumbling, perspective, tone, hue and successful emotional expression.

For more about ARC, this distinction, and more of Kapsner’s other art works, click Charles Kapsner.

Air Force painting update

The Air Force painting is reflecting some serious paint. The images here are of the painting’s status and a detail of the astronaut, and the very detailed charcoal and white chalk drawing of the astronaut. While not every drawing is so detailed, this one reflects a very completed work, and clearly captures Kapsner’s passion for, and skill when it comes to drawing.

“Generally Speaking”

During the fall season, two models of note have taken time to pose, including the first woman to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the Minnesota Air Guard, which is part of the Minnesota National Guard, Brigadier General Sandra “Sandy” Best.

Another notable model is Air Force Brigadier General David Hamlar, Jr., the first African American to achieve one-star rank in the Minnesota Air National Guard. These remarkable people, whose schedules are beyond busy, visited the studio on multiple occasions to pose.

B.G Best, wearing her dress blues, represents women of significant achievement in the military.  B.G. Hamlar is shown in the para rescue scene as a medic–a role familiar to him from his deployments around the globe.

The images below showcase snapshots from their sessions:




The astronaut image, reflected on the upper right, was an effort in an extremely complete drawing, as shown here in various stages:


The Air Force painting takes major shape as of mid-October, 2018.