At Ease: Contemporary Veterans
August 18-October 6, 2018
Spiva’s Main Gallery
“Local arts agencies are among the growing number of supportive service organizations that are encouraging the development of relationships and partnerships between the military and veteran communities, and local artists and performers, artists in healthcare, and arts organizations.” -“The Arts: Promising Solutions for Meeting the Challenges Facing Today’s Military-Then and Now”, Americans for the Arts
Spiva Center for the Arts is hosting the first Veteran art exhibition in its 70 year history. Veteran and staff member Aaron Skapik is Spiva’s Veteran Outreach Coordinator. He is curating the exhibit, as well as creating and facilitating the entire Vet Art program at Spiva, now one year into workshops and events for local veterans.
The exhibit will feature approximately 60 pieces of work from artists involved in the current veteran art movement. Art will be obtained from the National Veterans Art Museum, ART-ifact, and Kansas City-based veteran artists. The objective is to showcase works made by veteran artists, present the arts as a viable career path for veterans, and to highlight the arts as a therapeutic and alternative treatment option for mental health challenges. The purpose of the contemporary veteran art exhibition is to establish a conversation in the community, highlighting issues of concern to veterans and their families. Issues common among veterans include the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, poor healthcare, and the effects of combat and military service injuries such as PTSD, TBI, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and homelessness. Nationally, there are 500,000 veterans living with TBI or PTSD. There are 20 suicides per day. According to the Missouri Veterans Commission, in 2016 there were 9685 veterans in Jasper County in 2016 and 5090 veterans in Newton County in 2016.
There will be two accompanying programs for veterans, their families, and the general public:
Veteran Art Panel
Dr. Tara Tappert: Founder of Arts and the Military, Speaker and Curator
Susan Saloom: Military and Veterans Arts Initiative Field Specialist, Americans for the Arts
Veterans Family Picnic
Area veterans and their families will be invited to Spiva’s parking lot, to eat, tie-dye, and view the exhibit. Partner with CompassQuest.
Artist in Residence
Eric Garcia, veteran muralist. Eric will arrive in Joplin one week before the opening of the exhibit and create a floor-to-ceiling mural and installation on the Main Gallery’s east wall. Area veterans will be get a sneak peek of his process before the mural is revealed on opening night.