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About Christina Helferich-Polosky

(Click Here to View Christina's List of Works)

After the US Army medically retired me in 2009 because of multiple physical and mental disabilities I suffered during my 11+ year active duty service-most later attributable to unknown chemical, environmental, and burn pit exposures that happened to me during my combat deployments to Kuwait/Iraq (OIF-2003) with the 7th Transportation Group out of Fort Eustis, VA where I was awarded the Bronze Star and to Afghanistan (OEF-2008) with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Campbell, KY where I was MEDEVACd home after becoming seriously ill-I spent many years in a dark pit of anger, self-pity, depression, and pain. I wallowed in everything I thought I lost (my profession, my self-worth, my health) that I wanted to shut everything and everybody out. Instead of seeing my professional accomplishments, the differences I made in the lives of my Soldiers, and the role model I was to my children-I only saw the darkness. 

This is when I first stumbled upon art. Yes, a 40-something mother of five becoming an art student sounds crazy, especially since all I previously knew were the years I spent as a successful Army Transportation and Information Operations Officer. Once I thought that identity was taken from me, I just wanted to shut down and began seeing myself as worthless. My "invisible wounds" cut me to the core. I had no idea where I fit in or how I could express myself with my whole identity turned upside down. So art, with its distinctive allure of creating something from nothing, literally bubbled up during a Groupon wine and painting class in 2011. True, we didn’t create masterpieces that night; however, I felt lighter somehow—as if a huge weight I didn’t even know I was carrying, shifted just a little bit. The next day I began to explore how I could use my GI Bill to give this ‘art thing’ a try. Here I am, over a decade later, still working on degrees in Studio Art and Art History (as my chronic health issues permit) and having come to grips with the fact that I may never be healthy enough to achieve those degrees. So I still have days where I feel like I am stuck in the murky pit of my past, falling back down into that gloom and muck. But now, I have a medium with which I strive to create a new self-narrative using my wounds as a positive source of inspiration, instead of something that I allow to drag me back down into that black pit of despair. I am still sick. I always will be. I still struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD and pain. But I have created a new self narrative as a professional artist that allows me to rise above my physical symptoms and at time, even create through the pain.

A major component of my process lies in attempting to translate my confusion and sorrow into some sort of tangible media using whatever is at hand—be it paint, plaster, clay, steel, wood, metal, embroidery, vintage paper products or a mixture of all these and more. By physically displaying my story this way, it gives me separation to analyze my hurt instead of continuing to internalize it. I equally enjoy applying thick applications of acrylic paint mixed with heavy plaster mediums on very large canvases as I do making small intricate collages out of vintage scraps of paper and cloth-finding the ‘messy’ part of creating extremely satisfying on a very basic level. The resulting effects range from paintings with a very sculptural aesthetic to intimate collages with painterly three dimensional creations—finding peace between the crudeness and beauty of it all reflective of how I am feeling on the inside on any given day-and giving voice to these feelings matter because they are important.

And I‘m ready to have this conversation with the world! 

 I’m ready for my art to spark conversations that are uncomfortable about women in the military and our roles and our experiences without all the damn eye rolls. Can we please sit down and have an honest conversation without being marginalized again by being labeled just another group of angry females? Our experiences matter and they are all worth sharing. From the wonderful to the awful. We matter, our art matters and I know I am not alone. There are other female military members currently serving, female veterans and female wounded warriors using art in similar ways to me and it is time we shine a light on us all. We are Artists. We are not just women using art as therapy. Yes, there is a place for art therapy in the healing process, but what I want to emphatically state is that many of us are on a journey that has incorporated the therapeutic properties into our artistic practices and should proudly be able to state to ourselves and the world that we are indeed professional artists and should be recognized as such. Our work should make people take notice of what we have to say, because what we have to say matters, our voice and our art, matters and it is not worthless. We are not worthless. We may have been treated as such, but that time is at an end and we will not put up with it any longer. We may be wounded in body, but we no longer will let ourselves or anyone else consider us or our art worthless.

Thus, I founded as an online art gallery collective to do just that. It is my goal to support, promote and empower other women military, veteran and wounded warrior artists, like myself, and give a voice to our often-voiceless minority. Together we will be heard because what we say is worth hearing. 

And so I will say it again: What we say and how we say it matters. 

With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, I like the rest of the world with underlying medical issues, have been in quarantine, thus currently putting art school on hold for the foreseeable future. This time has allowed me to concentrate on what I can do right now, instead of what I can't. What I CAN do right now is work mostly in collage, so I’ve packed up my metal, ceramic, wood, and large painting studios for now and found the intimate work of collage, which only requires a small corner office studio, incredibly satisfying. So this is what I will be concentrating my practice on right now.

I have already been selected for several upcoming exhibitions and shows in 2022 and 2023 and I’m truly excited to see what work springs forth out of this isolation time as well as what additional boundaries I can push because people have very specific ideas about collage and I want to question it all. 

Support. Promote. Empower.


We may be wounded in body,

but we are not worthless!

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Military Experience


May 1998 – 

August 2009

Successfully completed an 11 plus-year career with the US Army as a company and field grade officer. Specific duties included time as a Transportation / Logistics Officer, Information Operations Officer, Company Commander, and Strategic Communications Officer. Two combat tours: Kuwait/Iraq (OIF-2003) with the 7th Transportation Group and Afghanistan (OEF-2008) with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). 

Awarded the Bronze Star and US Army Transportation Corps 2003 Active Duty Component Regimental Officer of the Year.

Juried & Group Exhibitions 2019 and Earlier


an Exhibition by ARTUP Memphis, TN - Aug 2019

Selected to show:

"Salvageable - Beautiful Disappointments"  

and "Her Voices"

Spring 2019 Juried Student Art Show at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN


Select to show my piece "Self Portrait Intestinus"



Selected to show 

“Some Wounds Don’t Bleed”




Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 

Selected as one of only ten Austin Peay University’s student Artists in Residence, 

two semesters in a row


Awarded the Lewter Sculpture Award from the Department of Art,

Art History, and Design, University of Alabama in Huntsville


Awarded the Emerging Woman Artist Award from the Women’s

and Gender Studies Program, University of Alabama in Huntsville


BA in History

Graduated Cum Laude, 1998

Phi Beta Kappa; Dean's List; VCU Honor's Program with completed Honor's Thesis in History

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

BA in Political Science

Graduated Cum Laude, 1998

Phi Beta Kappa; Dean's List; VCU Honor's Program with completed Internship as a Record's Assistant with the Virginia House of Delegates

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

Master of Teaching 

Graduated 1998, 3.9 GPA

VCU AmeriCorps Volunteer (completed over 900 hours of service); VCU RamsCorps Graduate Assistant; Obtained Teaching Certificate for grades 7 - 12 with a Social Science Broad Endorsement and Inner City/At-Risk Youth Focused Practicum / Student Teachings at Richmond City Schools

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

Marymount University

Arlington, VA

Classes towards BFA in Studio Art, 2013-2014, Dean's List

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Classes towards BFA in Painting / Drawing, 2015 - 2017, Dean's List, Humanities and Arts Honor Society 

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, TN

Classes towards BFA in Studio Arts, 2018 - 2019, Dean's List 


I am currently partnering with  -

I have been extremely fortunate to have found an organization that shares my same love and commitment to empowering veteran artists like Uniting US does. Except they actually have the skill sets and resources in place to actually do more than just inspire artists like me; they can actually make things happen. Because of Uniting US and their founders AnnMarie and Tiffany--I have not only been able to show my previously made art--they have motivated me to CREATE NEW ART and actually get myself out into the world more too! A task my kids probably would have thought previously unthinkable:) Especially after the Covid isolation and my own personal physical and mental health set backs over the past year and a half. But I can say in all honesty that Uniting US saved me and their motto to "inspire, empower, and unite" is more than just words--they are a saving grace for veteran shut ins like I have been--that needed an extra push this past year. I am partnering with Uniting US by making prints of several of my original works with them, then having those prints available on their website, as well as trusting them to display many of my original works in exhibits that they are sponsoring in and around the DC and Maryland area through the 2021-2022 season.

Currently, I am working

 mostly in collage as my personal and health issues have compromised my ability to work in my wood and metal arts studios; however, I am finding this intimate work extremely gratifying.  

Special thanks to my family of caregivers whose support is everything; specifically my children: Hannah Liberty, Jacob, Michael, Tyler, Anthony, and of course Mom & Dad Helferich and Nana & Papa Polosky. A special shout out to my brother and sister-in-law Matt and Annie Helferich who remain a constant inspiration as well as my sisters and brothers-in-law Jill, Pat, Christy, John, Tracie and all the Helferich, Lindstrom and Polosky cousins: your love and support mean the world to me and the kids! Hugs and Kisses to you all!!

Without you all... 

I would truly be worthless.

2020, 2021 & into 2022 Exhibitions and Showings

Endowed By Her Creator

was chosen by the

Jiggy Puzzles and Artshouse Collection 

Operation Arts: Women Who Serve 

art competition based on the theme of Hope, Inspiration, Transformation, & Possibilities to be turned into a puzzle and sold online  beginning 

November 11, 2021:

The original collage of

Endowed By Her Creator

is currently on display at the Takoma Park Community Center in Takoma Park, Maryland until 2022 courtesy of

A Limited Edition Print of

Her Voices

is on display and for sale 

at the Hill Center Gallery at the Old Naval Hospital in Washington, DC until 2022

Warrior Rosie & Presents of Bronze

Will be showcased at the biennial Veteran's art exhibition 

November 6 to 28, 2021 

at The Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, Maryland


A Limited Edition Print of

Her Voices

is on display and for sale 

at the Takoma Park Community Center in Takoma Park, Maryland until 2022

A National Treasure

and a Limited Edition Print of 

Endowed By Her Creator 

Accepted into the:

18th Annual Healing Arts Exhibition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

and will be on display:

 October - December 2021

Garden of Vintage Delights

Accepted into the:



October 28, 2021

Limited Edition Print of:

Buried At The Intersection

Accepted into the Juried Show:

Shifting Tides: Art That Speaks to Our Ever Changing Times

August 11 - September 19, 2021

Columbia City Gallery

4864 Rainier Ave S

Seattle, WA 98118

Her Voices

Accepted into the

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s online 

REMEMBERING: 20 YEARS AFTER 9/11 Group Exhibit

Her Voices

Accepted into the Juried Show:



July 10 – August 27, 2021

It Is What It Is - Isolation, Introspection, and Divorce

14th Annual Contemporary Figurative Show

First Friday July 2nd 

and runs through August 25th

The Hilliard Gallery 

1820 McGee is in the crossroads art district, Kansas City, Mo

Her Voices


Buried at the Intersection


National Austin Veterans Arts Festival


Exhibit opens online October 16, 2021

The originals of:

Her Voices


Buried At The Intersection

Are currently on Display at the Military Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery for the Summer Healing with the Arts Exhibition in collaboration with UnitingUS, Community Building Art Works and Armed Services Arts Partnership

May 21-September 6, 2021

I will be the Featured Artist Talk and Art Demonstrator LIVE IN-PERSON!

****AUGUST 28, 2021**** 

Her Voices

Selected for the online exhibit:  


The use of text and language elevates a work of art where it becomes a visual code. A layer of mystery is added, and as humans, we begin to decode what we see to translate it into our minds. The boundless perspectives of text probe ideas and concepts, ConTEXT is a reflection of the power of text where a new layer of visual storytelling takes place.

Buried At The Intersection

Published on Page ​30 

Artistonish Magazine 

May 2021 Issue

Warrior Rosie

Accepted into the Flagler County Art League's Virtual Art Show of Heroes, Heroines and Heroics 

This is a show about all heroes, whether real or fantasy characters, and their heroic actions.

April 17, 2021 - June 12, 2021

It Is What It Is - Isolation, Introspection, and Divorce

On display as part of the

"Art of Healing" A Group Exhibition Exploring the Intersection of Art and Mental Health

Opening April 3, 2021

Siy Gallery

1026 Folsom Street, Unit A

San Francisco, CA 94103

Her Voices

On display at the Dulles International Airport, Concourse C

Beginning Monday, March 15, 2021 until May 2021

In Celebration of Women’s History Month, Dulles International and Veteran Artist Collective “Uniting US” Present the Artwork of Female Veterans through May 2021

It Is What It Is - Isolation, Introspection, and Divorce

Faces & Figures

A Virtual Art Show

2/28/2021 - 5/30/2021


Perfection, Endowed By Her Creator, Her Voices, It Is What It Is, and A National Treasure

All displayed at the Pamlico Rose

Creative Bonds Virtual Exhibition

2/4/2021 - 3/29/2021

The creative bonds art exhibit is an opportunity for women Veterans and their families to share their individual journeys through art. 

The exhibit is brought to you by Pamlico Rose Institute a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving Veterans in North Carolina and beyond.

Her Voices, It Is What It Is, & Endowed By Her Creator

All displayed at the in-person exhibition of:

“The Healing Power of Art”

Jan 8 - Feb 6, 2021

Fine Line Creative Arts Center

St. Charles, Illinois

It Is What It Is - Isolation, Introspection and Divorce

2020 ‘Portraits’  Online Exhibition 

5-28 November 2020

Las Laguna Gallery

577 S. Coast Highway A-1

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

 Her Voices

Honoring All the Heroes! 

Online Exhibition at the Estrada Garcia Gallery

11/13/2020 - 1/31/2021

Self Portrait, 2018 

Ceramic Sculpture with Mixed Media

Art in the Time of Corona

July 2020, Ongoing Online Exhibition