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”

TRMENDOUS TURNOUT AT THE GLOUCESTER HOUSE FOR “THE INNVER VOICE AND THE OUTER WORLD”

“There is a great need for veterans and the families of veterans to tell their own stories to audiences who are receptive and willing to listen.” Dorothy Nelson, from the book’s introduction.

Today’s book launch of The Inner Voice and the Outer World was a resounding success. The book is a compilation of writings by veterans and their families from the Gloucester Writer’s Center “Cape Ann Veterans Writing Workshop” (2013 -2017), which was taught by the book’s editor, Dorothy Nelson. Many of the contributors were at the event to read excerpts of their poems and stories and to sign books. Shaped by the author’s experiences in 20th and 21st century wars, the stories shared were deeply moving. Readers and audience were in many instances moved to tears.

Virginia Frontiero McKinnon

The Gloucester House was packed, so much so, that Lenny opened up the adjoining second function room to accommodate the overflow of people.

Best wishes and congratulations to the Writer’s Center, Ms. Nelson, and the contributors for sharing the stories of our local veterans and their loved ones.

The contributors are:

ALMA HART

JAMES GRIGG

HEATHER DUPONT

EDWARD KAZNOCHA

STAN FEENER

SUSAN FREY

FRANCIS J. SULLIVAN

MARTIN RAY

MARC LEVY

MELVIN P. OLSON

MARIA LANE

MARY CONNELLY

VIRGINIA FRONTIERO MCKINNON

CONNIE CONDON

LINDA NILES NX

TOM SAROFEEN

CHARLES STEINER

To purchase The Inner Voice and the Outer World, mail a check to the Gloucester Writers Center at 126 East Main Street, Gloucester MA 01930. Please make the check to the Gloucester Writers Center and at the bottom of the envelope write: re: Veterans Book. The book costs $15.00. plus mailing. 

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE “THE INNER VOICE AND THE OUTER WORLD”

To purchase the recently published The Inner Voice and the Outer World, mail a check to the Gloucester Writers Center at 126 East Main Street, Gloucester MA 01930. Please make the check to the Gloucester Writers Center and at the bottom of the envelope write: re: Veterans Book. The book costs $15.00. plus mailing.