SOLDIER ON + NATHAN HANFORD
Soldier On’s Veterans Community Arts Initiative engages homeless veterans in the arts and cultural activities to promote healing and expand veterans’ social and personal networks of support. Soldier On’s mission is to end homelessness among veterans by providing permanent, sustainable, safe and affordable housing that veterans own and operate with support services. Soldier On fosters an environment of integrity, dignity and hope to assist veterans in regaining physical and mental stability, housing and employment. The ultimate goal is to help veterans to become fully enfranchised and contributing members of their community.
Nathan Hanford is currently the Artist in Residence and a Case Manager at Soldier On, a non-profit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness, where he not only facilitates creative based education but is in the process of working hand in hand with Soldier On to create a flexible arts and culture curriculum to be used to enrich the lives of the veterans that they serve.
A native of Becket, Massachusetts, Nathan Hanford has spent the past six years dividing his time between the crisp mountain air of the Berkshire hills in New England and the urban wilds of Shoreditch, London. His work is evocative of a fusion between these environments, influenced by the rituals, sentiments and textures of the past but thoroughly modern in its messaging. He draws inspiration from “things I see; people I meet; stories from my family and past.”
Nathan is a trained dancer and spent most of his summers working and studying at the world-renowned Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, but after a dog attack curtailed his dance career, his passion for design and the visual arts surfaced. His technique has evolved over the years to involve hand-embroidering on vintage linen; each piece can take anywhere from a couple hours to three or four months– and always involves sore fingers. He first learned embroidery from his paternal and maternal grandmothers Helen Hanford and Alice Melle, and his mother Theresa Hanford.