Opening Festivities and Events
The much anticipated MY WAR: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Veterans exhibition at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art opened to VIPs and members on Thursday April 4, with an evening reception and introduction by photokunst principal Barbara Cox, followed by Peter DeLorenzi, Director of the Friday Harbor Veterans Museum. Earlier in the day classes from Friday Harbor High School toured the exhibition.
Extended community engagement in this exhibition was created by involving local Vietnam veterans and families, creating an adjoining small exhibition of photographs, artifacts and stories in the museum’s North Gallery, titled A WAR NEVER ENDS.
On Saturday April 6, Washington’s Congressman Rick Larsen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, visited the exhibitions, met with local veterans, and spoke about the challenges recent veterans are facing today.
Sunday April 7, the museum’s Art As A Voice lecture series presented: Journey Back to Vietnam by Sarah Blum. Blum who has worked with PTSD and trauma resolution with military veterans for the last 28 years, spoke about her experience as a frontline nurse in Vietnam, and PTSD survivor.
The museum has shared that the MY WAR exhibition is already proving to be a very successful community outreach to the baby boomer generation, historians, health professionals, veterans and their families and friends. It’s especially relevant that the included photos and writings came from the soldiers themselves, a “look from the inside out” wrote Marissa Roth, curator of MY WAR.
The exhibition has received great press to date, with five articles, and wide social media coverage, as well as 2 five-star Google reviews the first weekend.
“But this too is true: stories can save us.”
―Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried