I am very excited to be bringing the Chicago Veterans for Peace (VFP) My Lai Memorial Exhibit to the Whallonsburg Grange Hall on Friday and Saturday, September 7-8. The exhibit was hosted on its spring tour by VFP chapters in Santa Fe, San Diego, Fresno, San Francisco, Spokane, and Iowa City. The exhibit has been warmly received and has touched many people deeply.
Developing this Memorial Exhibit is a new venture for me. As an artist, I’ve experimented with interactive art, most recently sculptural collage building, as a way of stimulating dialogue and connection with participants. I came of age during the Vietnam War. I’ve always felt broken-hearted by our actions in Vietnam. When I learned that the Pentagon was spending $63 M to essentially whitewash our military actions in the war, I got backing from the members of Chicago VFP to develop this traveling exhibit as a memorial to the Vietnamese civilians who suffered and died in our futile and destructive attempts to “win” the war.
The Memorial Exhibit continues to grow as we travel with slideshows of the sculptural collages created by participants and their comments in the Exhibit Journals. The exhibit is “humanly interactive” with participants engaging in dialogue and discussion as part of the exhibit experience.
From the Exhibit Journals:
“The power and intensity of this exhibit is so valuable. Thank you for bringing voice to those lost in this atrocity. I am grateful to be able to share the burden of such immeasurable sadness of Vietnam. I hope I may lighten their load by continuing to spread awareness and fight for justice.” – San Francisco
“I am so grateful to have participated in this exhibit. It has brought me once again to commit myself to peace activism and prayer. Praying that our country finally reckons with its past in order to move forward with peaceful intentions.” – San Diego
As we were packing up the Memorial Exhibit, I asked a few of the members of the Spokane VFP chapter to comment on their experience hosting the exhibit in the short video below:
Sept. 7-8 Exhibit at Whallonsburg Grange
I am in the midst of planning the exhibit program for the Whallonsburg Grange in partnership with some of the local peace and justice organizations. I will share those details with you soon. I have designed the exhibit to be open and non-judgmental. The exhibit is free (donations appreciated to keep us on the road). I am looking forward to welcoming our North Country neighbors to the Memorial Exhibit on September 7-8.