Local artist garners state and local VFW accolades
Bailey Iwen recently received first place recognition from the VFW Post 1638 Auxiliary for the Young American Patriotic Art contest.
Her portrait “My Guardian Angel” was sent to the State of Wisconsin VFW Auxiliary to compete against all other students placing first in their respective auxiliaries. At the state level, Bailey’s portrait was also chosen as the first place winner. As a result, Bailey received a certificate and a check for $1,000. Her portrait has now been sent to the National VFW Auxiliary for additional judging. The first place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $29,500. The VFW Post 1638 and Auxiliary are so proud of Bailey not only for her talent, but for her dedication to family and Veterans.
About “My Guardian”-
The people in Iwen’s portrait are her aunt Connie Gulke-a Merrill native- and Connie’s son Nick. Nick enlisted into the Navy right out of high school in 2003. He was in the Navy for 14 years, earning the rank of Navy Chief. Nick served on the USS Momsen battleship (his first ship, was commissioned in Panama City, FL). The second ship he served on was the USS Chafee, in Pearl Harbor and his home state of Washington. In the summer of 2016, Nick was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Nick was a dedicated sailor and he served on his ship through chemotherapy treatment. Sadly, Nick Gulke passed away in December of 2017.
In the portrait, Bailey captured Nick at age 19 when he first enlisted in the Navy. She exaggerated the look of her aunt going through distress, grief and sorrow. The glowing effect is of her son to show he is her Guardian Angel.