Press Release

Heroes Hall exhibit Through Their Eyes features opens today with work by local military artists

COSTA MESA (Oct. 13, 2021) – A new exhibit at Heroes Hall opens today, showcasing the artwork of 24 local veterans and active U.S. service members.

Through Their Eyes: Artwork by Active Military and Veterans will be the featured exhibit at the museum now through January 20, 2022.

New museum hours: Heroes Hall is now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.


Members of the media are invited to an artists reception at Heroes Hall. During the private event, the Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation will present awards to the top three winning artists: David Vargo, Giovanni Berdejo and Ed Bowen.

When: Saturday, Oct. 16, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Heroes Hall at the OC Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa
Please register for this event if you would like to attend


Heroes Hall Museum is dedicated to honoring Orange County’s service members and providing a place where they can tell their stories. For this new exhibit, military service members have expressed their individual experiences through a variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, painting, carving and woodworking.

“It has been such a pleasure meeting the artists and hearing the stories behind their artwork,” said Carol Singleton, Heroes Hall Museum Supervisor. “Several of the veterans in this show turned to art as a means to heal both emotional and physical wounds. We are privileged and honored to bring this extraordinary exhibit to the community.”

Through Their Eyes was underwritten by the Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation. The judges were Dave Barton, Fatemeh Burnes and Denton Knapp.


Winning pieces are pictured below, and details about each of the artists are available on the Heroes Hall section of

First Place: David Vargo for “Unlikely Path”

Vargo is an art professor at Laguna College of Art and Design, and has painted illustrations for companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Arch Enemy Comics, Lucasfilm and Wizards of the Coast.

“My love of the mysterious combined with my passion for the figure has led to a long-term art affair with imaginative realism,” Vargo said.

Second Place: Giovanni Berdejo for “Hope”

Berdejo is a photographer and author, and has taught photography workshops for student veterans at Chapman University.

Third Place: Ed Bowen for “Entrenchment”

Bowen is a Vietnam War veteran whose art is part of the Army’s war art collection and is displayed in various government facilities including the Pentagon and the Smithsonian.

Artists in juried show

Kurt Bayless, U.S. Navy, Huntington Beach

Giovanni Berdejo, U.S. Army, Fountain Valley

Ed Bowen, U.S. Army, Corona Del Mar

George Davis, U.S. Marine Corps, Rancho Santa Margarita

Hanh Dinh, U.S. Marine Corps, Garden Grove

Reginald Green, U.S. Navy, San Diego

Linda Hicks, U.S. Air Force, Westminster

Charlie Hunt, U.S. Army, Huntington Beach

Sean Lenahan, U.S. Navy, Costa Mesa

Phyllis Miller, U.S. Navy, Santa Monica

Kimberly Millett, U.S. Army, Newport Beach

Darrow Minor, U.S. Navy, Long Beach

Cody Reed, U.S. Navy, Long Beach

Arthur Rivera, U.S. Navy, Anaheim

Abraham Romero, U.S. Army, San Diego

Casey Rydjeski, U.S. Army, Fountain Valley

Sandra Scott, U.S. Air Force, Yucaipa

Mario Solorzano, U.S. Army, Pomona

Bill Stewart, U.S. Air Force, Newport Beach

Gary Tegel, U.S. Navy, Costa Mesa

Paul Todd, U.S. Army, Orange

David Vargo, U.S. Marine Corps, Anaheim

George Wallims, U.S. Marine Corps, Huntington Beach

Special guest artist Joe Pisano, U.S. Navy, San Diego

Read more about each artist at