Once buried and forgotten in attics and basements, the collection has grown and traveled to over 40 exhibits at places such as the Rotundas of the House and Senate in Washington, DC, New York's Lincoln Center, the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum in Austin, TX and the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina were it was restored and cataloged.
The collection was first shown at Chicago's N.A.M.E. Gallery in 1981. "This collection is a national treasure that has his roots in Chicago," says Sondra Varco, VVAG Executive Director, of Park Ridge, IL. "We're elated to finally have our own exhibit and archive space." The collection is now permanently housed at the 1727 S. Indiana facility, a Burham Park Arts District Development by Shelley Baskin and Jerry Fiat of Prarie District Lofts.
"This art touches everyone who sees it," says Joe Fornelli, VVAG President and veteran-artist of Park Ridge, IL. "Vets bring their families to say 'This is what I can't tell you.' I've seen non-veteran artists and art students talk about the sources of creativity and expression. Vietnamese families have come to see a part of their history and what they left behind."
The VVAG plans additional exhibits in Chicago and across the nation for the general public, schools, colleges, galleries and museums.
"Altogether, this show has so much to say about war, life, and art," wrote Karl Moehl of the New Art Examiner. "Most of the work leaves an indelible impression on viewers, even those with little or no associative experience in armed combat. It is a proper anecdote . . . and a restorative for those who have percieved a certain superficiality in the currrent art scene and regret it.
Over 400 artworks created American, Autralian and Vietnamese participants in the war are represented in all styles and media. "Altogether, this show has so much to say about war, life, and art," wrote Karl Moehl of the New Art Examiner. "Most of the work leaves an indelible impression on viewers, even those with little or no associative experience in armed combat." Call 312-913-9117 for more information.