Living is a constant source of interesting connections, if we are open & aware to how life is interconnected.  Sometimes painting gives us interesting connections too.  Several years ago, the Spanish Riding School performed on a US tour to honor the veterans who participated in the rescue of the Lipizzans from Czechoslovakia during World War II.  My daughter and I met my dad in Houston to see an SRS performance.  While in Houston, my dad related his part in the Lipizzan rescue of WW2.
     Since all the breeding mares of the Spanish Riding School were in Czechoslovakia and all the stallions were in Austria, it seemed the breed was doomed.  The Russian army was advancing upon Hostau, Czech, toward the large stud where the 300 Lipizzan mares, along with other prize horses from Europe’s breeding elite were stabled, with the intention of using the livestock for food rations.   My father’s role, as part of the fighting force of the 94th Infantry Division, was to facilitate the surrender of the German troops and clear the way into Czechoslovakia for the US 2nd Cavalry to dash into Hostau to rescue the Lipizzan mares, as well as American POWs and the other horses.
"Rescue, 1945" copyright Cheri Isgreen, 2014
“Rescue, 1945” copyright Cheri Isgreen, 2014
     “Rescue, my final painting for the show, LIPIZZAN LEGACY, portrays the WW2 rescue from the Lipizzaner’s perspective.  It’s fairly romanticized.  Generally, my work is rather narrative in an abstract way.   I like to leave a strong element of mystery, so anyone can fill in the details to make it her own story.  This piece has so much personal meaning, that I think I’ve put more into it than I usually do.  Lipizzan lovers can relate to this story on a personal level, because of the direct line to their own horses.
     With the show, LIPIZZAN LEGACY, I am doing my small part for the Lipizzan Rescue Foundation  in the US.  25% of all sales go directly to the Lipizzan Rescue Foundation.
I have also donated a watercolor sketch, with 100% of the proceeds earmarked for the USLF.
     **The Spanish Riding School performed at the dedication of the 94th Division dedication of the Peace Monument near Sinz Germany  Oct 16th, 1994 in honor of the 94th’s role in saving the Lipizzaners.