Artist Debra Van Poolen spent one month living in Beit Sahour and nearby villages in 2013. There she learned about the West Bank’s natural history and amazing biological diversity, along with the present day decimation of the land. Her sensitive paintings and drawings reflect this reality.
Meet the Artist
Debra Van Poolen been a watercolor artist for 20 years, exhibiting her work in Oregon, Montana and Michigan. She has also taught drawing and painting in various settings, including schools, summer camps and her home studio. Debra Van Poolen currently focuses her artistic passion on anti-war activism. In the spring of 2013 Debra traveled to the West Bank Occupied Territories via a grant from the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account (a war tax resisters fund) to make art about life under occupation. Peace activism led Debra to document each day of the three-month court martial of Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning with courtroom sketches in the summer of 2013. In addition, Debra has worked as an educator regarding traditionally sustainable cultures. She coordinated programs for the International Society of Ecology and Culture’s Ladakh Project in northern India over a three-year span from 2009 to 2011. Debra is an avid cyclist and considers Washington, DC one of her favorite cities for biking!