Neptune Fountain | Library of Congress

Neptune Fountain | Library of Congress

Sunday, November 11, 2012

National Veterans Art Museum | Chicago



Opening today at its new location, the National Veterans Art Museum provides a unique viewpoint on the controversial subject of war to all visitors. An intensely moving balance of beauty and horror, the collection provides insight into the psyche of combat veterans and the consequential hindsight war leaves on its survivors.

In 1981, a few Vietnam combat veterans put together an artistic and historical collection that would become a timeless, humanistic statement of war on behalf of all veterans for future generations. The overwhelming emotional response to the work, along with an increasing amount of contributions by artists, led to the official establishment of a permanent museum. After viewing the collection, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was so personally moved that he allocated a permanent building to house the collection. Since 2003, the museum has broadened its mission to include art by veterans of all wars. Today, the NVAM houses more than 2,500 works of art, including paintings, photography, sculpture, poetry, and music. All the works in the Museum’s permanent collection were created by more than 255 artists who are veterans of American conflicts. See the entire collection online here.

Welcome Home is the first temporary exhibit at the NVAM's new location at 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, featuring art by Vietnam War veteran Dr. Charles Smith and Iraq War veteran Ash Kyrie

Of the show, Ash Kyrie writes: 

"Welcome Home" is the customary message given to soldiers after returning from war. After that initial message there is no set dialogue. The veteran learns about the world that they left, and their family meets a new person. As a veteran I am creating work that discusses the disconnect between civilians and the war being conducted to protect them. 

Welcome Home opens to the public with a reception today and remains on display through May 2013.

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