Special exhibit shares art inspired by veterans’ experiences

See local veterans’ stories of serving in wars dating back to World War II through original artwork to be featured in a special exhibit open through Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.

The exhibit, “Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations,” is part of a national project that pairs artists with veterans to create an original piece of art based on their experiences. The goal is to bridge the gap between civilians and veterans by educating the public about military life.

For this special exhibit at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, EVAC partnered with HPLM’s Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project.

Through the oral history project, Associate Curator of Manuscripts Julie Mayle meets with local veterans and records their stories, scans their photos and important documents and preserves them in the local history collections at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. The veterans also receive a digital copy of their interview and records.

In the case of veterans who have died, Mayle conducts the interviews with family and scans and saves photos and documents.

 “When the Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project was first started, we always had intentions of utilizing the material in a variety of ways, so it’s very exciting to see this exhibit become a reality,” Mayle said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the EVAC organization on this unique project.”

The artwork in the EVAC exhibit features 12 to 15 pieces created using stories of veterans Mayle interviewed. Artists use a variety of printmaking techniques, including etching, serigraphy, relief print and lithography to create unique and original artwork. Veterans also receive a copy of the art created based on their experiences.

“They’re all different,” Mayle said of the pieces. “They’re all up for interpretation.”

The exhibit  is sponsored by Beck Suppliers/Friendship Food Stores.

Some of the pieces in this exhibit will eventually be displayed at other locations throughout the country.

EVAC has placed other exhibits at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport; Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, M.D.; and the Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, V.A.

The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like HPLM on Facebook at fb.me/rbhayespres and follow on Twitter at @rbhayespres and Instagram at rbhayespres.