Liberty the service dog lives up to her name. The black Labrador belongs to U.S. Navy veteran Kerry Evans. The two were paired together through K9s For Camo. The local nonprofit organization trains dogs to help veterans mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy and limited mobility.
“I can’t imagine life without her,” Kerry said. “Liberty has given me exactly what her name implies – the freedom to lead a happy, normal life.”
This semester, a group of OTC drawing students set out to convey Kerry and Liberty’s relationship on paper. The assignment was part of a service learning project sponsored by OTC’s Office of Student Development.
Tom McCune, OTC’s lead drawing instructor, challenged his students to capture the bond between Kerry and Liberty in their artwork. A U.S. Navy veteran himself, Tom said the project gave his students a better understanding of the support and resources needed for military personnel with PTSD.
“I asked my students to explore the emotional connection between Liberty and Kerry in their drawings,” he said. “I was impressed with their ability to portray both realism and emotionalism throughout the different drawing stages.”
Once the project was complete, K9s For Camo received digital copies of the students’ work. The nonprofit will gift some of the drawings to donors and sell the remaining artwork at special event fundraisers.
“Any project that allows my students to channel their passions and interests in a way that helps our community is worth pursuing,” Tom explained. “I know this experience will leave a lasting impression.”