The nonprofit National Veterans Art Museum is raising an exciting new exhibit this Veterans Day called Radical Vulnerability. Seven artists, all veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Global War on Terror are participating in the show, which explores the pains, emotions and fears both raised—and suppressed—by war. The art ranges from powerful installation pieces that are open to the public, a public workshop on Military Sexual Trauma accompanied with an art installation, photography, and combat paper art. Combat paper is made from service uniforms: veterans turn their uniforms into pulp themselves and use for printing purposes. The show opens with a reception on Veterans Day 2011 featuring artist talks and closes in early spring 2012.
Highlights of the show are two installation pieces. In “Fatigue Clothesline,” Marine veteran Regina Vasquez addresses military sexual trauma (MST) creatively and constructively in a workshop co-hosted with a licensed counselor for servicemembers who have experienced MST. For more information or to register, please visit the Fatigue Clothesline website. In addition, Air Force veteran Edgar Gonzalez Baeza will exhibit his forceful plaster piece of arms and limbs titled “They’re Mine to Keep,” inspired by a Gulf War veteran who, when speaking of his struggles with PTSD, put his hands on his chest, and said: “all the memories, all the people I lost, they’re mine to keep.” This gesture simultaneously protected his memories and hid his heartache. Edgar will be installing his piece while the museum is open to the public, inviting visitors to view his artistic process.
In addition, we’ll have two pieces being shipped in from out of state: the untitled combat paper cast of artist Chantelle Bateman’s body and Malachi Muncy’s “Pillbottle” combat paper series that focuses on the overmedication of veterans and servicemembers for their psychological conditions as a result of combat. Combat paper made from service uniforms: veterans turn their uniforms into pulp themselves and use for printing purposes.
Finally, we have three artists flying in to speak at the opening reception. Regina will fly in early from Austin, Texas, to host workshops in the days preceding the opening; Chantelle will be flying in from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Malachi will be coming up from San Marcos, Texas.
- (41 days)