, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

November 12, 2012

Vietnam vet sharing love of art with others

PORT ARTHUR — Arnulfo "Arnie" Hernandez switches from green to blue to yellow watercolors on a white piece of paper at the Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur. The details of his painting pop as he only uses one brush, rinsing it in a cup of water to switch color.

Watercolor is his favorite kind of art. "People around me tell me I'm the best at painting faces," he said.

Hernandez doesn't like painting with oil. "I don't like to clean the brushes," he said laughing.

Hernandez was drafted when he was 19 or 20 years old. "I didn't know my brother had already been drafted with the Army," he said. On the last day before being drafted, he switched to the Navy instead of the Army. Both brothers were in Vietnam.

"If it weren't for Vietnam, I probably wouldn't have gone to college," he explained.

Hernandez worked for GSU, what is now Entergy, and retired from Beaumont ISD after teaching ESL. When trying to work for a school, he wanted to teach art. "Bi-lingual ESL teachers were needed more than art teachers," he said.

He enters art work in shows and sells it all over Texas. "I have three paintings at Lamar State College in Port Arthur right now in their art show and auction," he said.

Hernandez and his wife, Gloria, have four children and five grandchildren. "I'm gonna try to teach them how to paint," he said.

He is an Art Smart teacher at Texas Artists Museum in Port Arthur and the President of the museum as well.

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