Just in time for Veteran’s Day, a new exhibit at West Chester University unveils some never-before-seen art from Marine Corps combat artists. THE ART OF WAR: TO REPORT, REMEMBER and RECONCILE opens on November 7 in the Knauer Gallery, 817 S. High Street, West Chester. Press and the public are invited to an opening night reception on November 14 from 4 – 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through January 3, 2020.
THE ART OF WAR showcases about 30 works of art from the Marine Corps Combat Art Program, which was founded in 1942 and continues today. The program is managed by the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA, where more than 9000 works of art created by 350 combat artists are maintained. The program’s mission is to keep Americans informed about what the Marines are doing at home and overseas through art.
The exhibit is a collaboration between the University’s Art + Design and History departments. History Professor Robert Kodosky and Associate Professor of Art Kristopher Benedict traveled to Quantico, VA, and hand-chose the works on display.
Kodosky says, “The warehouse in Virginia is filled with paintings. There was so much work to choose from, but we ultimately chose the paintings that showed the humanity of war and the diversity of each veteran’s experience.”
Kodosky adds, “This exhibit provides an experience that is both immersive and interactive. It asks attendees to consider the relationship between art and war while inviting them to participate in the process of healing that art provides.”
This is the first time some of the works will be exhibited publicly, and it is also the first time WCU has exhibited art borrowed from an outside organization.
Artifacts, a mural, and a wall projection round out the exhibit. In addition, guests can watch interviews with students from West Chester U.’s Student Veterans Group on tablets set up throughout the gallery. Provocative questions about why each chose to serve and their experiences while serving are asked and answered.
Several special events and lectures are planned throughout the exhibit’s run to engage both the veteran and civilian communities:
· November 11 (Veterans Day) at 4 p.m.: Short ceremony and flag presentation to the West Chester University Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center. Two veterans will be present and give short lectures.
· November 14 from 4 – 7 p.m.: Press and public opening event
· November 20 at 6 p.m.: Meet & Greet with well-known local combat artist, Mike Fay, whose work will also be on display. He will give a lecture in the same building’s Ware Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
Gallery hours for THE ART OF WAR are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment. For appointments and to plan additional community events, contact Robert Kodosky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on all exhibits during the 2019-20 Season visit www.wcupa.edu/arts or https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/artDesign/exhibitionsEvents.aspx