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Still in Motion Home  //  Leslie Elsasser - Introduction  //  Selina Roman - Mind Currents  //  Christian Cortes

Roxi Cato - US Army  //  Wildalys Class - US Air Force  //  Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Navy and Marine Corps  //  Michael Congdon - US Army  //  Giovanna Delacruz - US Air Force  //  Amanda Dodd - US Army  //  Dawn S. Hargrett - US Navy  //  Evan Fountain - US Air Force  //  Mark Freeman - US Army  //  Robert Kidney - US Coast Guard  //  Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps  //  Alicia Morales - US Army  //  RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force

James Alexander - US Air Force  //  Wildalys Class - US Air Force  //  Dwight English - US Army  //  Loretta Fields - US Army  //  Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps  //  Matias - US Marine Corps


James Alexander, Ponderous, 2021


Self Portrait 2021

After retiring from the Air Force in 2011, I decided to take life easy. There had been enough hustle and bustle throughout my 24-years in the service. The life of an F-16 Crew Chief is a non-stop hurry-up. I have traveled the world. I have been to war. I have lost friends and co-workers. Now, I do what I can to take things at a less hectic pace. 

Over the years since leaving active duty, I have pursued my interests. I went to college and got a degree — twice. I played around making abstract art. I tried my hand at teaching (I currently tutor high school kids part time for Hillsborough County Schools). And, since the pandemic, I started learning to play guitar. 

Let me say something. With no background in music, learning guitar is hard. It took me six months to learn to play one song. That felt discouraging, so I ‘took a break’ for a while. Then one day, my father (who is musically inclined) introduced me to the electric bass guitar. And it spoke to me. I understood it. It understood me. I would say I fell in love, but my wife might get jealous. 

Since that day, I have learned to play numerous songs on the bass. It has been a great escape from reality. While playing the world seems to fall away and, in the moment, it all becomes about the music. 

Self Portrait 2021, is about that moment. In sharing it with the world, I hope it can help anyone else who might need a little escape. 



James Alexander, Self Portrait 2021, 2021



For more information:
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Breaking Barriers is a project by USFCAM in collaboration with the USF School of Art and Art History, with Support from the USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant Program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Love IV Lawrence 2020 Waves of Change Grant, and additional support from the ACE Arts for Community Engagement Fund and the Florida Department of State.