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Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations exhibit to open Saturday at TU

PHOTO SUBMITTED Pictured is an example of the artwork that is to be on display during the EVAC exhibit.

Veteran-inspired artwork is to be featured during Tiffin University’s next Diane Kidd Gallery exhibit, with an opening reception 2-4 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibit, “Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations (EVAC),” is curated by Gallery Director Lee Fearnside, assistant professor of art Joe Van Kerkhove and assistant professor of chemistry John Schupp.

“The exhibit is art through interpretation and story telling,” Fearnside said. “EVAC focuses on the stories themselves.”

The goal of EVAC is to combat the isolation common to veterans and to bridge the gap between military and civilian life through stories and art.

Fearnside said being in the military is a “lived human experience” and can be mundane and funny, not just about wounded warriors and battles.

Twenty-one veterans from all branches of military service who served during World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan had been interviewed by 22 artists from all over the country and Denmark about their military experiences. The artists then created prints based on their interpretations of what they heard.

There will be 22 pieces on display with some accompanied with audio files from the veteran’s interviews.

The exhibit itself is important, according to Van Kerkhove, because it allows how artists interpret the stories they hear.

“It is a visual interpretation of what they get from the story,” Van Kerkhove said. “When we hear stories, they are different from person to person.”

An auction of the artwork also is being developed, with proceeds going to four veteran charities: Fisher House, Homes for our Troops, the Women in Military Service memorial and Tiffin University Veteran’s Program.

In addition to the exhibit, community members can contribute by visiting the local Buffalo Wild Wings location 6-9 p.m. Oct. 3 and 17, with 15 percent of the proceeds going to benefit EVAC.

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