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Civil War artist painting portraits as fundraiser for cancer research

I first met artist, filmmaker, and philanthropist Ken Vrana of North Carolina at the Gathering of Civil War Eagles living history event in Winchester, Virginia, earlier this year. Ken fascinated me with his stories of his colorful career in Hollywood as a screenwriter for such TV shows as Quincy, Cheers, Home Improvement, and many others. Now living on the East Coast, he travels through the Civil War circuit taking photographs of reenactors and living historians, and then painting commissioned portraits from the photos.
Ken’s website can be found here.

Mr. Vrana will be attending reenactments from Maryland to South Georgia this year for the express purpose of photographing people who’d like to have their portraits done. A portrait typically requires between two and three months to complete.
Custom framing available at an additional charge. Mr. Vrana is also the President and CEO of the 1 in 8 Foundation, recently named the fastest growing cancer charity in the world. Created by Mr. Vrana while working for the Garland Appeal, the breast cancer charity created to honor the life of Sir Paul McCartney’s late wife, Linda Eastman McCartney, the 1 in 8 focuses not on a cure for cancer, but early detection.
A portion of the fee from each portrait Mr. Vrana paints will be gifted to the 1 in 8 Foundation, which means in addition to you receiving a painting you will have for a lifetime, you can deduct a portion of the cost of your painting as a charitable donation.
For more information on the 1 in 8 Foundation, please visit

Ken’s cause is a very good one, and if you are interested in a portrait, please send Ken an e-mail at
As a cancer victim myself, I cannot emphasize enough the urgency of early detection, as well as a healthy lifestyle. I look forward to beating cancer in my own life, and appreciate Ken’s efforts to educate the public and raise money.