The AHEPAN - Winter 2014 - (Page 16)

VETERANS How a World War II Vet Became Boise's "Artist on Call" Brother Troy Cutrubus Brother John Collias enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II and that is how he ended up just outside of Boise working on war posters and cartoon strips for the base's newspaper, The Gowen Field Beacon. Their posters exhibit the familiar and dramatic aesthetic of wartime propaganda produced during that period, but John's portraiture in the "Soldier of the Week" and "Gowen Honor Roll" segments portray a more honest, if not raw, aesthetic. The work that was produced during the 1940s embodied American epoch and also managed to capture the individual men and women who were working and living at Gowen Field during the war. After returning from the European theater, Collias married a Boise girl he met while stationed at Gowen Field, Lily Kepros. After the war they moved to Chicago where John graduated from the American Academy of Art. He was hoping, perhaps, for a promising future as a commercial artist in illustration and advertising. The young Collias family spent ten years in and around Chicago before returning to Boise where the Daily Statesman hired him as the first and only "artist-reporter." "Round About the Boise Valley" was a weekly segment that allowed Boise's "wandering artist-at-large" to report on current happenings, random quips, and overheard oddities alongside a sketch of a Boise resident that John would decide to highlight. The segment ran for 50 weeks. Each week provided a glimpse of what life was like in post-war Boise. John also worked the Statesman section called "A Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen," which featured a weekly portrait and short biographical sketch that highlighted a member of the community for their contributions and service. "The Distinguished Citizen" segment ran for thirty years, from 1963 to 1993. John managed to capture the essence of an individual through tedious shading and _________________ Information source: A & H Staff, "Link's Modern Business College" Boise City Department of Arts & History. research-collection/enterprise/business-industry/link's-modern-business-college/, accessed 25 March 2013. 16 | THE AHEPAN ยท Winter 2014 careful cross-hatching. In total, he managed to produce over two-thousand sketches for the "Distinguished Citizen." Between segments and commissioned portraits, Collias worked on the paintings in the St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. It did not take long for Boise's citizens to call on John Collias for personal portraits of their own. Since 1951 he has been Boise's "artist on call" and managed to keep busy painting folks like the Simplots, Senator Borah, Governors Robert Smylie, D.W. Davis, and Moses Alexander, and finally, his father. District 17 Governor Troy Cutrubus visited Boise Chapter 254 to honor Brother John Collias, 96, with an AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award for his military and civilian service which exemplify AHEPA's mission. The presentation was made at a luncheon in Brother John's honor, October 11, 2014, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Boise. (L-R): Brother John Collias, District 17 Governor Troy Cutrubus, and sitting, Fr. Nektarios. Below: Brother Collias in his art studio.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - Winter 2014

President's Message
AHEPA Family News
Our Commitment to the "E" in AHEPA
AHEPA Family Embarks on Capital Campaign for Saint Nicholas National Shrine
A Student Reflects on Her Journey to Greece Experience
Literary Corner
Civic Responsibility
Hellenic Cultural Commission
AHEPA Family Chapter News
In Memoriam

The AHEPAN - Winter 2014