Chris Demarest is an author and illustrator of over one hundred children’s books. FIREFIGHTERS A to Z was chosen as a New York Times “Best Book” in 2000. He followed that book with two more on firefighting: HOTSHOTS! and SMOKEJUMPERS ONE to TEN. For a year he flew with the US Coast Guard out of Air Station Cape Cod researching his book: MAYDAY! MAYDAY!: A Coast Guard Rescue. It was during this time he became an Auxiliarist and was accepted into the US Coast Guard (COGAP) art program. Two years later he flew with the Hurricane Hunters into Hurricane Ivan researching HURRICANE HUNTERS: Riders On The Storm.
In 2006 the USCG sent him to the Persian Gulf chronicling life aboard patrol boats as part of the Coalition Forces guarding the oil platforms off the coast of Iraq. Nine paintings and drawings from that trip were accepted into the collection. Over twenty paintings and drawings are part of the permanent collection. In 2010 ARLINGTON: A Story of Our Nation’s Cemetery (Macmillan) was published. In 2011 Demarest became the artist-in-residence at The Women in Military Service to America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery creating a tribute on canvas to the World War II generation. In May, 2013 this exhibit began a national tour with venues in Massachusetts, Texas and California. The tour will go into 2015, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.