Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Art Highlights Experiences of Local Veterans

View local veterans' stories of serving in wars dating back to World War I through original artwork to be featured in the special exhibit "Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations," opening November 11 in the Hayes Museum.

EVAC is a national project that pairs artists with veterans to create an original piece of art based on their experiences.  The goal is to bridge the gap between civilians and veterans by educating the public about military life. For this special exhibit at the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums, EVAC founders Professors Lee Fearnside and Joe Kerkhove partnered with HPLM's Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project..

Through the oral history project, Associate Curator of Manuscripts Julie Mayle meets with local veterans and records their stories, scans their photos and important documents, and preserves them in the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums Local History Collection. The veterans also receive a digital copy of their interview ad records.  Mayle then places the interview recording on YouTube and Historypin.

Associate Curator Julie Mayle with Veteran Dick Willer

In the case of veterans who have died, Mayle conducts the interviews with family and scans and saves photographs and documents. "When the Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project was first started, we always had intentions of utilizing the material in a variety of ways,. So it's very exciting to see this exhibit become a reality," Mayle said. "We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the EVAC organization on the unique project."

Co-Founder of EVAC Professor Lee Fearnside
The artwork in the EVAC exhibit features 12 to 15 pieces created using stories of veterans Mayle interviewed. Artists use a variety of printmaking  techniques, including etching, serigraphy, relief print and lithography to create unique and original artwork. Veterans also receive a copy of the art created based on their experiences.

They're all different, " Mayle said of the pieces. "They're all up for interpretation."

Veteran Participants Receiving EVAC Artwork 

The exhibit will be in the museum rotunda and opens to the public at noon on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov.11. An exhibit opening reception for HPLM members and veterans' whose stories are featured in the artwork will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10. Members and veterans will receive an invitation through the U.S. mail or email.

The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, Jan. 31. It is sponsored by Beck Suppliers/Friendship Food Stores. 

Wife and Daughter of Veteran Leonard Dentinger

Some of the pieces in this exhibit will eventually be on display at other locations throughout the country. EVAC has placed other exhibits at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport; Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and the Army Transportation Museum at For Eustis, VA.