Racine Journal Times: Veterans Book Project visits Racine

Veterans Book Project visits Racine.

RACINE — Stories of war, as seen through the eyes of veterans, soldiers and others closely associated with war, are the focus of Monica Haller’s latest work of art, the Veterans Book Project. A collaborative effort led by the international artist and involving people across the country, Haller’s project is an ongoing creation of a library of books which are meant to be read, viewed and shared in galleries, libraries and schools, as well as on the Internet. And the artist is coming to southeastern Wisconsin this week to mark the opening of VBP exhibitions at four venues in Racine and Kenosha counties.

Exhibits of the Veterans Book Project will open at both the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Carthage College on Tuesday as part of a community-wide exhibition organized by UW-Parkside’s galleries. Kenosha’s Civil War Museum will open its exhibit on March 31, and the show at the Racine Arts Council’s ArtSpace Gallery will open April 6. During her visit this week, Haller will lead public programs at UW-Parkside and Carthage College (see boxes for details).

Several area veterans are among the dozens of participants involved in the project, according to Patricia Briggs, gallery director at UW-Parkside and organizer of the local VBP exhibits. Those veterans, along with UW-Parkside students, collaborated with Haller during a two-week workshop on campus earlier this year which produced five books. The Parkside workshop was one of many Haller has facilitated around the country in producing the library.

What is so amazing about the Veterans Book Project, Briggs said, is the honesty of the words expressed by the participants as they talk about their war experiences. The tone of the books ranges from very patriotic to anti-war sentiments, and includes a wide variety of voices, she said.

“It is very different from the stories of war you get from press releases and Hollywood films. It really is a beautiful project.”

Both UW-Parkside and Carthage College have purchased copies of the VBP library so that the books will be available as a resource after the exhibitions move on, according to Briggs. All of the project books are also available for free online at www.veteransbookproject.com, as well as for sale (on demand, at cost) through www.lulu.com.

WHAT: Veterans Book Project Events

WHEN: Reading workshops are offered at 10 a.m. and noon on March 27, and at 2 p.m. on March 28. Reception with Monica Haller and authors is from 4-6 p.m. on March 28. Artist’s Talk is at 4:30 p.m. March 29.

WHERE: At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Somers. The Artist’s Talk will be in room CART 131, and all other events will be in the UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery, in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities

COST: Free

INFO: For more about these events, go to parksidegallerynews.com/category/veterans-book-project/

Exhibition Schedule

– March 27 – May 12 at UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery, 900 Wood Road, Somers

– March 27 – April 27 at Carthage College’s H.F. Johnson Art Gallery, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha (Opening reception with the artist, 4 to 6 p.m. March 27.)

– March 31 – May 31 at the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave., Kenosha

– April 6 – 28 at the Racine Arts Council’s ArtSpace Gallery, 316 Sixth St.

For more information about the project go to www.veteransbookproject.com

Read more: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/veterans-book-project-visits-racine/article_9a0a457e-76fc-11e1-a6a6-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz1rMKFIy2w

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is the director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at Jamestown Community College in Western New York. She writes the blog "Scene Unseen: Viewing Notes" about visual art in her community.

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