This photograph was taken in 1969, on Engineer Hill located just outside of Pleiku, South Vietnam. I was sitting in the jeep that I drove the Battalion Executive Officer Major Jim Yannekis to visit areas where we were doing construction, mostly road paving. The Major didn't believe in going from city to city in large convoys. He felt that we were safer going it alone and that the enemy wouldn't give away their position for one lonely jeep. His instincts were apparently correct and we both returned home safely after our one-year tour in Vietnam.

Parkinson's thomas in jeep.tif
 

I was one of 550,00 US soldiers in Vietnam in 1969. I was stationed in the central highlands working in support of combat engineering, including the use of Agent Orange.

 

When I returned to the US. in 1970, 1 continued my career as an artist, making work about the Vietnamese people. The prints that form the basis of this exhibition were made in 1976-1986, They had no specific subject matter; I was exploring printmaking processes and color. I left them unfinished.


I returned to Vietnam in 1987. This visit was the catalyst to establish the Indochina Arts Partnership, which showcased the artists of Vietnam for 24 years. From 1988 to 2012 I traveled to Vietnam constantly in support of this work.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which our government recognizes as being associated with exposure to Agent Orange. On December 14, 2020, I saw my brain for the first time in MRI brain scans. These scans compelled me to create visual images of my fight with my brain disease. These images fall into two categories:
1. Brainscapes: collages of images of my face and MRI scans of my brain
2. Rediscovered prints abandoned in 1986, the Brainscapes were combined with these earlier lithographs, and they were complete.

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Parkinson's web page 7.tif