Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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JRRD Cover Art Winner 2007,
Albert L. Blaisdell

Albert L. Blaisdell, Dog Fight — 1918

"Everybody has a talent of some sort. All they have to do is bring it forth." Albert L. Blaisdell, gold medal winner in the Special Recognition Category of the 2006 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

Dog Fight — 1918, by Albert L. Blaisdell of Congress, Arizona, will be featured on the cover of all 2007 issues of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD).

"Dog Fight — 1918, honors those brave aviators of World War I who lost their lives or won honors while flying in those slow, fragile planes of that era," said Albert when asked about the meaning behind his painting.

Albert, a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, has always been fascinated with the airplanes and pilots of World War I. Throughout his life, he has studied these subjects and constructed model planes as a hobby.

Albert L. Blaisdell circa 1944

In 1944, Albert was wounded in combat in the Palau Islands, losing much of the use of his right arm and hand. During a 17-month stay in a naval hospital, he learned to strengthen his left hand by sketching. Albert became so adept at sketching that he was asked to sketch cartoons for the hospital magazine.

Albert L. Blaisdell, 2006

At the urging of his wife of 60 years, Lucile, Albert began painting with watercolors in the 1960s, with lessons at the local high school. At that time, with his early works self-described as "not so good," Albert never dreamed he would win an award.

Albert's Dog Fight-1918 received a gold medal in the Fine Arts Watercolors category during a local creative arts competition. As a gold medal winner, he was among the 130 artists from across the country chosen to showcase their art during the 2006 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

"I am very pleased and astounded with the recognition. My experience in the Arts Festival has given me assurance that I can produce good art that makes me feel good," said Albert. "I hope I can be an inspiration to others who may have injuries and think they can't do something again because of them."

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