"With a rich heritage in both art and history, Glenda Gleave felt right at home at the Oriskany Battle site in upstate New York last week. She was the guest of honor for the annual ceremony held in commemoration of one of the bloodiest battles fought on August 6, 1777, the turning point of the Revolution."

"The distinguishing honor came to Glenda as a result of an historic portrait she painted of young Henry Bellinger whose father and two older brothers died in the Battle of Oriskany."

As a descendent in the Bellinger line, Glenda felt especially moved to honor those of the past with her artistic gifts as she brought to life the masterpiece she appropriately titled ‘Patriot Dreams’. This painting now hangs in the Oriskany Battlefield Museum in New York.It is interesting to note that when Glenda first went to work on the painting, she was not aware that an Oriskany Historic site existed. Nor did she know that a large and close- knit Bellinger family organization still resides today in the Mohawk Valley. It was not until almost six years later, after the painting had won several awards, that an unusual twist of fate brought the painting to the attention of Nancy Demyttenaire, the historic sites’ top historian, who earnestly pursued and eventually acquired the painting for the site.

"The annual commemoration ceremony this year produced a large turnout of local dignitaries along with Bellinger descendents, who warmly received ‘Patriot Dreams’ as a new addition to the site.Glenda enjoyed sharing the story of the painting with those in attendance, especially with other Bellinger descendents. “Painting history is never about the artist” she stated quietly. “It is about our duty to remember those who came before. And when the artist does it right, the reward is the satisfaction of knowing that the painting helps form a link in the hearts and minds of those who live now and remember.”

Story Behind the Painting