Montclair, East Orange Represented in ‘Proudly She Served’ Portrait Series

Lt. Commander Angel Hughes at Controls of US Coast Guard Aircraft. Hughes is one of the women featured in the portrait series.

The “Proudly She Served Portrait Series” by artist Steve Alpert pays homage to women in the United States military and veterans. The series features large-scale portraits of extraordinary women military officers and enlisted personnel from each branch of the service. The portraits convey a message about each woman’s courage, strength, resilience and selflessness while serving in the military and in their lives as civilians.

The 36-inch-by-30-inch portraits present images of the generations of women in the American military from World War II to today’s conflicts.

Alpert completed the portrait series during Women’s History Month.

“I began this project to tell the story that women in uniform are just as courageous and capable of leadership as men soldiers. Simple as that. Women are unheralded as such, and I wanted to contribute to telling their success stories through portrait paintings in oil,” says Alpert.

Alpert reinvented himself as a professional landscape and later portrait artist after working nearly three decades in the TV news industry. He has created many artworks with military themes.

Proudly She Served project director and former military aviator Linda Maloney, currently an author and business owner, said the portraits “present a very positive message about these pioneering women who achieved significant careers in our country’s military. The women are very resourceful, innovative and deeply caring advocates for military veterans, especially those men and women who are transitioning to civilian life. They are also amazing role models for women who are focused on serving their country, families or communities while engaged in meaningful careers.”

Bernice Falk Haydu of Montclair will be featured.

Portraits were painted of a diverse group of active-duty U.S. military and veteran women from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Women Airforce Service Pilots listed below:

· Kim Brooks, born in Portland, Ore., U.S. Marine Corps, Separated – Sergeant

· Nicole Cimino, born in San Diego, Calif., U.S. Coast Guard, Retired – Chief Petty Officer.

· U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, representing Illinois, U.S. Army, Retired – Lieutenant Colonel

· Kirstie Ennis, raised in Milton, Fla., U.S. Marine Corp, Retired – Sergeant

· Dawn Halfaker, raised in San Diego, Calif., U.S. Army, Retired – Captain

· Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, of Montclair, N.J., U.S. Women Airforce Service Pilot (deceased)

· Miyoko Hikiji, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S. Army, Separated – Specialist

· Angel Hughes, raised in East Orange, N.J., U.S. Coast Guard, Separated – Lieutenant Commander

· Nicole Malachowski, of Las Vegas, Nev., U.S. Air Force, Retired – Colonel

· Chaplain Karen Meeker, raised in Huntington Mills, Penn., U.S. Army, Active Duty – Colonel

· Louise Rand, of Martins Ferry, Ohio, U.S. Air Force – 1st Lieutenant (deceased)

· Arabia Shanklin, of Steubenville, Ohio, U.S. Navy, Active Duty – Lieutenant

US-Navy-Lt.-Arabia-Shanklin is the first painting in the series to be released.

For more information visit the Proudly She Served website:

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