Former president George W. Bush is sharing his artistic talents with the world in a new exhibit.
Portraits of Courage, a new show at the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, features painted portraits of 66 wounded military veterans. Bush has spent hours recreating their likenesses using oil paints. The exhibit will run through Oct. 1.
The former president is also releasing a book to go along with the collection. According to Entertainment Weekly, the book explains Bush’s motivation to create the portraits. “I painted these men and women as a way to honor their service to the country and to show my respect for their sacrifice and courage,” the former president writes. “I hope to draw attention to the challenges some face when they come home and transition to civilian life – and the need for our country to better address them.”
Since his presidency ended, Bush has spent much of his free time behind an easel. His first public art exhibit was The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy, which featured 30 portraits of world leaders.
Bush tells Today that he was inspired to start painting after reading the essay “Painting is a Pastime” by Winston Churchill. Soon after, Bush hired an instructor to help him learn the art. With an impressive amount of works already behind him, it seems he has no intentions of stopping his hobby any time soon.