Madison, WI— As the developing genre of veteran art realizes its potential for community discourse, its influence challenges artists to produce a body of work that is thought-provoking and vulnerable. In November 2018, veteran and civilian artists will merge together in Madison, Wisconsin to exhibit new works that reflect the profundity of the veteran experience. Aligned with an amplified voice examining the veteran identity, these artists discover themselves as political beings embodying a comprehensive and inclusive human experience. “In Good Company: An Exposition of Emerging Veteran Artists” is a multi-venue exposition hosting artistic talents that range from two and three dimensional visual-art to theater/performance art, music and writing. Event locations include The Edgewood College Gallery, Arts Literature Laboratory, Overture Center for the Arts, Common Wealth Gallery, Madison Feed Kitchen, Marzen, Integrated Art Group’s Fine Art Showroom, The Graduate Hotel, Madison Central Library, Communication, and The Barrymore Theater. A Wisconsin Veteran Artist will be featured at each exhibition space/venue.
Veteran and civilian curators are organizing these happenings into an organic experience that intrigues viewers and insists on conversation and discourse. Reintegration implies returning to something that existed before. These artists are revealing the implausibility of that charge. They are seeking a more literal meaning to the word. It is the act of restoring elements that are disparate to unity. These communities that are created are a response to the reunification of the comradery in an effort to deflect isolation. These questions are the conversation starters that we intend to encourage: What are some of the different outcomes expected from this process? How is the transformative nature of the work perceived differently from civilians vs from veterans? Should healing be a requirement for transformation? If so, who is being healed? How often do civilians think the veteran is seeking healing when the veteran believes they are seeking to heal society and not the self?
In Good Company coordinator Yvette M. Pino is an artist, curator, and Army Veteran. She founded The Veteran Print Project in 2010 in an effort to connect veterans and artists to share a conversation that would be inspiration for an edition of prints based on the veteran’s shared experience. These are her thoughts on the Exposition, “One of the challenges of documented stories of the veteran experience is that these moments are encapsulated and packaged as one moment of history. Rarely do we capture the transience of a narrative and revelation that comes with time. Artists have a way of visually
depicting time and memory and, through the resulting bodies of work, we are called as a community to witness and to engage. Combined with a distinct point of view about conflict, the veteran art is a necessary discourse on societal themes, contentious topics, a call for introspection, and a cohesive space for an elongated exchange of ideas. This showcase of veteran art is a necessary means to amplify the veteran voice within the community to draw a better understanding of what that experience entails. Over the past 10 years, I have witnessed a disconnect between veteran and civilian and I have worked to bridge that gap. With the enduring conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan lasting over 15 years, I am now seeing a disconnect between veteran and veteran. Veterans now have served in the same wars in completely different decades. It is the goal of this exhibit to offer a multiple artistic opportunities for veteran artists to engage with the community and to allow the arts to foster the necessary conversations. This showcase is relevant, it is necessary, and it is important.”
For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.igcexpo.com.