IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck

The creative response to military service is vast.

Several Gloucester and Cape Ann artists and writers were veterans officially engaged as combat documentarians and/or military artists, like Larry O’Toole (1908-1951), marine artist, official USCG artist and WWII Veteran.

Ron Gilson visiting Larry O'Toole oils commisioned ca1945 by Ben Pine for YMCA and Master Mariners moved to Essex Shipbuilding-  then O'Maley ©c ryan.jpg
Author and historian Ron Gilson viewing Larry O’Toole murals at O’Maley Innovation School, originally commissioned by Ben Pine ca.1945; after fire and demolition, temporarily relocated to Essex Shipbuilding Museum ; rescued and returned to Gloucester by Raye Norris. When he was a teenager, Gilson helped O’Toole with general art handling-studio assistance such as readying and moving these murals.

 

Addison Center’s 1866 portrait of Ulysses S. Grant is to the left upon entry in City Hall. (On the right is a 1946 memorial commission by Marguerite Pearson to 5 WWII marines: Sherman B Ruth, Ralph Greely, Wilfred Ringer, John M. Sweet, and Robert M. Maguire.)

Others created art in response to their service experience like fine artist, Robert Stephenson (1935-2013).

Good Morning Gloucester readers have been following an indeliable original illustrated series, Stories from Vietnam, with illustrations and writing by David Hussey. The Gloucester Writers Center established a Veterans Writing Workshop in the fall of 2013 and published a compilation book, The Inner Voice and the Outer World, launched in December 2017.  Cape Ann Veterans Services brought copies of the children’s picture book, Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhoodand super volunteer readers, into local Kindergarten, first and second grades to read aloud in the classes. Copies of the book were gifted to the classroom libraries. (Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood ©2012 is by Valerie Pfundstein with illustrations by Aaron Anderson and foreword by John Vigiano Sr., a Marine Veteran and retired FDNY Captain, who honors his sons’ memories –both lost on 9/11– by volunteering his time and resources to Gold Star families and wounded heroes.) Gloucester native and Gold Star mother, Anita Coullard Dziedzic, helped support this outreach through Cape Ann Veterans Services, to honor her son Sgt. David J Coullard.

© c ryan Bradley Smith poet and veteran
Artists-veterans throughout Cape Ann. Bradley Smith, poet, veteran

NEXT MONTH, Rocky Neck Cultural Center will present a visual arts group exhibition featuring artists who are currently active or served in the military curated by fine artist and veteran Ken Hruby:

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans, Curated by Ken Hruby
May 17 – June 24, 2018

Courtesy photos credit info and press release below from Rocky Neck.

  • Mourning the Loss of a Comrade, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR- Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Walking in Two Worlds, US Army Signals Linguist Cara Myhre, Served in Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Haunting Memories, Lt. Col. Deveon Sudduth, US Army, Served in Iraq
  • Ready for Ga Noi, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam
  • Woman Marine, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR, Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Through The Elephant Grass, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam

PRESS RELEASE – “The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) proudly presents “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans”, a multi-media, juried exhibition of over sixty works by more than thirty combat artists from the military services and by veterans making art from their experiences in zones of combat…Congressman Seth Moulton of the 6th congressional district of Massachusetts, himself a Marine Corps veteran of four tours in Iraq, states of this exhibition, The ‘incommunicable experience of war,’ as Oliver Wendel Holmes once described it, indeed often defies explanation by words alone. That veterans can share some of their experience through art can help us all better understand what they went through. And as a veteran myself, who returned to war with a camera after I left the Marines, I know how cathartic art can be for those of us who were there. The work of combat artists is important for civilians as well, to deepen their understanding of the lives of our service men and women, and their families. “In War and After” is an a very important exhibition for both communities.”

Few people are aware that when US military forces go to war, some of them carry, in addition to their weapons, their sketch pads, graphite pencils, watercolor brushes and cameras. These are combat artists, tasked to not only serve the combat mission but to record that mission in ways only an artist can.

Continue reading “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck”

Greg and Gold Star Mom Anita Coullard Dziedzic present a $2000 check to Cape Ann Veterans Services- honoring her son Sgt David J Coullard by helping returning veterans

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Anita sharing a photo of her son with Adam Curcuru, Director Cape Ann Veterans Services

Anita’s son David served in the Marine Corps and was killed in action on August 1, 2005. She and her husband, Greg,  help returning veterans. They spoke about her son and some of the projects they’ve supported. Good Morning Gloucester readers may remember Anita’s joy in finding a Paul Frontiero “Art, Rocks!”, and donating a flag to the Boulevard. Anita’s mom was born in Gloucester in 1917; her Uncle was dear friends with Pauline Bresnahan’s father.

Adam Curcuru and the veterans office volunteers discussed projects that the Cape Ann Veterans Services is involved with. Stories were shared and a few tears. It was all very inspiring. We passed around a copy of the children’s book that is going to all the elementary school classes for Veterans Day.  We spent time admiring the Welcome Home to Cape Ann Veterans Gift Packages, a program “designed to show Cape Ann’s appreciation for our returning veterans and let them know that Cape Ann supports them in this process of transitioning out of the military and back into our community.”

 

With or without the Gloucester family connections, I believe that Anita and Greg are so impressed by the Cape Ann Veterans Services that they would be delighted to work together anyhow. Learn more about David, and Anita and Greg’s projects  http://www.sgtdavidcoullard.com. Mutts Mending Military  is another organization they’ve supported. How nice that Cape Ann Veterans Services is included.

I learned that the 2016 Welcome Home to Cape Ann Veterans we left the light on for you Gift Packages were made possible by the Cape Ann Veterans Services, Gloucester MA Elks Lodge #892, and the Manchester Athletic Club, and that they are made extra homey special because they are stuffed with support information and gift certificates from so many local donors, businesses and organizations:

A Shade Down

Ace Hardware at Gloucester Crossing

Azorean Restaurant

Blue Marlin Grille

Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop

Cape Ann Lanes

Cape Ann Veterans Services

Cape Ann Whale Watch

Randy Korpi Carpenter

Celia’s Flower Studio

Destino’s Subs & Catering

Dunkin Donuts

Elks Lodge #892, Gloucester 

Extreme Truck and Auto Repair

Flannagan’s

Gloucester High School

Gloucester High School art department

Gloucester House

Gold Coast Realty  (North Shore’s)

Goodwin Party Shop

Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant

Jeff’s Variety & Deli

La Casa DeLuis

Linsky’s Service Station

Magnolia 525 Tavern

Manchester Athletic Club

David and Jeana JMB Narkowitz

Ohana

Orlando & Associates

Our Lady of Good Voyage, Gloucester

Pauline’s Gifts

Gary Porter

Dr. Dana Powers Manchester

Dr. Michael Powers Gloucester

Tim and Lori Sandborn

Sebastians

Stone’s Pub & Eatery

Styles on Main Salon & Spa

Sunbanque Tanning

Virgilio’s Bakery

Nancy and Joe Virgilio

Dr. Robert Viventi

Yankee Fleet

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Continue reading “Greg and Gold Star Mom Anita Coullard Dziedzic present a $2000 check to Cape Ann Veterans Services- honoring her son Sgt David J Coullard by helping returning veterans”