The 50 paintings

The Touring Exhibition

Having begun in Charleston, South Carolina WE THE PEOPLE will tour nationally to several museums including the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, the Huntsville Museum of Art and the National Museum of the Marine Corps, near Washington DC. At each location, the Patriot Art Foundation will serve local veterans through special tours of the exhibition as well as offer classes geared toward self-expression and creativity.

National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Huntsville Museum of Art
National Museum of the Marine Corps


In 2010, Mary Whyte set out on a mission to paint fifty watercolor portraits of what it means to be an American veteran today. The project was over seven years in the making, taking the artist across the entire United States, to meet and paint some of our country's truest patriots. Featuring current day veterans of all ages, all walks of life and from every state, Whyte's WE THE PEOPLE will be a national treasure that will honor and connect with our men and women in uniform for generations to come.

Photo: Jack Alterman

The 50 State Journey

To get to the veterans in all fifty states Whyte traveled by airplane, car, taxi, Uber, cruise ship, speedboat, ferry, truck, bus, all-terrain vehicle and “one very very slow golf cart”. In her studio, Whyte kept a map of the nation coloring in each state in yellow as it was visited, and later in red when the painting was completed. “It has been the greatest adventure of my life,” says Whyte. “I got to see the entire country, as well as meet and paint some extraordinary Americans. I was always impressed with our veterans.”

The Models

For the series of fifty watercolors, Whyte chose a variety of veterans that would represent our nation's diversity. Depictions of current-day veterans including the Missouri dairy farmer, Rhode Island lobsterman, Pennsylvania science teacher, California homeless man, and forty-six other moving works will be showcased together - culminating in a timeless and heartening portrait of and for the American people.

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