Here is a video created by teens at Impact Family Center from their summer experience with the NVAM Education Team at Woodson Regional Library creating panels for Vision Quilt. Check out this link to see the completed panels:
Here is a video created by teens at Impact Family Center from their summer experience with the NVAM Education Team at Woodson Regional Library creating panels for Vision Quilt. Check out this link to see the completed panels:
Summer programming at Back of the Yards will be split between curriculum focused on the NVAM Permanent Collection and the Operation Mom’s Couch Exhibition currently on display and the Vision Quilt project founded by Cathy DeForest of Washington state.
Students at BoY are predominantly Latino, or middle school- early high school age. According to CPL YouMedia staff, these youth have been regularly and directly influenced by gang and gun violence in the neighborhood which has some of the highest rates of gun related deaths in the city (this is also true of the Woodsen branch in Roseland where we will also be running programs this summer.)
Expected outcomes for youth as they engage with the NVAM Curriculum:
Expected outcomes for youth as they engage with the Vision Quilt Project:
Inspiring kids about the Vision Quilt:
The Vision Quilt is a national grassroots project using the power of art to prevent gun violence. You will be creating panels for the Vision Quilt using spray paint, drawing, painting, stencils and the power of writing, with visiting artists to help.
No art experience is needed.
Your Vision Quilt panels will be displayed at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago in the fall of 2016. Panels made in Chicago will stay in Chicago and be displayed in libraries, community centers, and places of worship.
Logistics: Students will participate in 8+ sessions of 2 hours each. The model for each session will follow the model of: Look, Dialog, Make.
June 28- Session 1 NVAM Curriculum
Introduction: NVAM Permanent Collection and Operation Mom’s Couch
Youth are introduced to the NVAM permanent collection and especially Operation Mom’s Couch. Slideshow from online sources nvam website, nvamoutloud and Eric’s website.
Impact:Art of the Comic Book Cover
July 5- Session 1 Vision Quilt Curriculum
July 12- Session 2 NVAM Curriculum
Summer Wrap up:
Initial Reflection/Response: 06/30/2015
Upon entering the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, my interest immediately skyrocketed. The halls, doors, counters, walls, and floor, basically every foot of the museum, were filled with vivid, eye catching artwork. The collection is comprised of artworked created and published by Veterans from several wars, such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Several youth programs from the surrounding communities are brought to NVAM in order to actively engage students in multimedia and visual art projects. Students work with mentor artists and Veterans in order to raise awareness of the Veteran community and culture, via expression of unique and supportive art.
As a new intern with NVAM, I will help organize and educate students in the NVAM Out Loud Teen Council. In this program teens learn about leadership, career skills, and exhibition installation, all while creating powerful artwork and seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ of the museum. As an intern, I expect to aid in planning academic lessons for students, organize student activities, coordinate and prepare for such activities, and facilitate student work and reflections. Through these roles, I hope to gain some awareness as well. Not only do I hope to be more aware of the Veteran community and culture through art and expression, but I also hope to become aware of how students react to such expressions. I would like to notice how they react emotionally to both what the Veterans have to say and what they show them. Are they surprised? Do they feel angered, happy, or sad? Do they care? I would also like to notice their physical reaction. What do they have to say? Do they want to respond somehow? How the
students respond to a topic that may be a bit violent, saddening, troubling, or even not well known at their age, will be an interesting and insightful experience I am sure.
I am confident in saying that the past four weeks spent with the
students from Teen Council at NVAM has been a luxury. I am truly
grateful for experiences I had and the lessons I learned. I did not
know what to expect when beginning this internship, so I was
determined to remain open-minded and engaged. The artwork and
artifacts exhibited at NVAM are, in my opinion, essential to the
education and expression of veterans artwork and the veteran
community. The exhibit is mind-blowing, to say the least. I was lucky
enough to meet and work with several of the artists and NVAM staff.
Their experiences and lessons are fascinating and worth listening to.
I will surely remain in contact with them so I can continue learning
from them. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with such an
intelligent and hardworking group of teens. The students in Teen
Council proved that they had what it takes to think critically and
work hard. The projects they have worked on in the past and continue
on today have such an impact. They have the opportunities to not only
engage with veteran artists, but also the community at large. I hope
that I left at least a minor impact on their lives, considering they
left such a large impact on my own. I hope to see what they will
become and do in the near future.
Joseph R. Zolper
This summer is off and running with a new set of expectations and challenges!
First– WHERE will Teen Council be taking place??!! We have outgrown the space we used last year and the main gallery space needs to be utilized as, well, a gallery space! So now what?? While visiting an empty store front where NVAM will be hosting the After School Matters Cross-Regional Art Exhibition on Aug 14 (save the date!) it occurred to me that this was a lot of unused space that would be AWESOME for filling with art in the making! Thankfully, the building owner agreed! As he put it– if we never say yes to crazy ideas, where would we be?
The move in was…challenging…but now, with 2 weeks under our belt, the impact of this new space is starting to be felt! New and developing art is on the walls in our open critique space, we have an inspiration wall and our social contract hung proudly for all to see and we are utilizing an old chalkboard wall to keep our schedule on display (so we never miss break time!). The teens are moving past their initial shy phase and are making meaningful observations and making big plans for the rest of summer! Starting next week, we begin a 2 week collaboration with veteran artist Stuart Hall. The potential is tremendous. I LOVE SUMMER TEEN COUNCIL!!! (Stay Tuned!)
Since 2012, the National Veterans Art Museum has been partners with local high school Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School, which provides a specialized education for high school students with cognitive, developmental and multiple disabilities. Today senior students from Laura Smith’s class visited NVAM to see The Joe Bonham Project: Drawing the Stories of America’s Wounded Veterans and The Things They Carried.
The Vaughn students had a special guest, Maurice Costello, Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, 196th Light Infantry Brigade 1967-68. Maurice shared his story with the students, answering their questions, before interacting with the objects in the Things They Carried. The students tried on the flak jacket and rucksack relating his experience to the objects: So you are wearing all of these things, feel heavy? What is the climate of Vietnam? Now imagine how it would feel like to be wearing all of this humid, soaking wet, with infinitely more gear, trying to be wary of hidden mines and attack?
Then the Vaughn students were given a tour of The Joe Bonham Project, preparing for a the workshop to follow inspired by the exhibition. The students observed the different artistic styles and mediums used to portray the same veterans stories. We discussed different ways of observing and documenting in art from quick sketches in pencil to writing and digital drawings on Ipads. The workshop expanded on these ideas by introducing the students to bookbinding. The students using folding, cutting and sewing to create their own pamphlet stitches.
This was the last time this group of students from Vaughn Occupational High School will be workshopping with NVAM before they graduate next week! Congratulations to these amazing seniors, it has been wonderful making art with you!
“When I first viewed Ken Howard’s collection of pictures, it was as if I had encountered a long lost cousin or brother and started sharing memories. We would start with, “Do you remember the time we…” And we would end up nodding and smiling, not so much at what had occurred, but more from the experience that someone else had the same memory, the same album of experiences and impressions in their mind as well. His work took me back over forty years to bring some of those memories to just yesterday.”
Ned Ricks, along with being one of our most dedicated volunteers at NVAM, is a retired Major of US Army Reserve and served as the Commanding Officer of Troop C, 1st Squadron in the 10th Calvary in Vietnam from 1970-71. We are honored to have this video as a testament to the service of Ned and his squadron. We would like to thank Ken Howard for sharing this video with us and giving permission to share it online.
It is finally spring! Well, sort of. Ignoring the random bouts of snowfall in Chicago, The Great Artdoors is too excited to get back outside for art-making! This week we are thinking about aerial photography and the “birds eye view” perspective, looking at examples taken from helicopters during Vietnam or more modernly videos captured by drones. We decided to create our own sort of weather balloon/kite/drone device that looks like something straight out of Up, using balloons, a point and shoot camera, fishing line, and lots of tape! Check out the Gallery through this link for photographs taken by the aerial balloon contraption we created!
In January, I was asked to be the guest on the NVAM CanTV show Veterans Arts On Air with host Melvin Lyons. We spent the 20 minute show talking about the exciting work being made by NVAM Teen Council and upcoming events at the NVAM in 2015. One of my favorite parts of the show takes place at minute marker 11:00 where I share a favorite experience meeting a veteran who is a part of the 100 Faces of War Experience Exhibition which opened on Veterans Day 2014 and is on display at the NVAM through May 2015. These interactions with the veterans and artists is part of what makes our museum unique and builds meaningful conversations about the role of art making in building community and intergenerational relationships between youth and veterans. Check it out!
PS– being on TV is exciting a fun– I highly recommend it!
Today for the Great Artdoors, teens looked into the NVAM collection at Regina Vasquez, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, and and her work with Fatigues Clothesline. “Fatigues Clothesline is a vehicle which bridges a gap between survivors and their family, their therapists and the advocates who are advocating for us in Washington DC by providing communication, symbolism, awareness and Change regarding military sexual trauma. By allowing our survivors to be heard once and for all!” We discussed the seriousness of this issue, the importance of Fatigues Clotheslines work for the victims and spreading awareness, and how our choices with clothing are impactful. Clothing is used as our personal identifiers, whether that be our choice of brand, make, or imagery.
“My t-shirt is covered with colorful words that I use to define myself such as sensitive, proud, devotion, commitment, and friendship. The words are covered with hands. The hands are representative of how other try to hide me behind their own perceptions.
-Hunter // 17 // Westinghouse College Prep
“I feel like what Regina Vasquez is doing with Fatigues Clothesline is for a very good cause. The fact that we need to speak up more about military rape is empowering. I completely understand that, more than anyone else possibly could, without getting into details, this is a really important issue to me. Rape is serious.”
-N.G. // 15 // Illinois Online High School
If snow days will not stop teens from heading to YOUmedia, a frozen Chicago will not stop us from making art! The Great Artdoors, for new readers, is a public art workshop series hosted by YOUmedia and the National Veterans Art Museum. Each week we have one hour workshops taught by an NVAM teaching artist. Each workshop is centered around creating public art in Chicago and connecting to the NVAM’s mission to create a greater understanding of war experience.
For the first workshop of 2015 we headed straight into the cold! The teens were introduced to the NVAM.org online collection, looking at veterans artists that use moldmaking techniques such as Marcus Eriksen, U.S. Marine Corps, Persian Gulf War (Kuwait), and Jim Leedy, U.S. Army, Korea. We discussed how what moldmaking is and how artist use it as a technique to get extreme details and create mass multiples.
We also looked at Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo‘s Minimum Monument installation of 5,000 “melting men” at Chamberlain Square, Birmingham on August 2, 2014 to commemorate victims of WWI. The ice figures were placed out with the help of volunteers and left to melt in the sun.
Using dental grade alginate (a food-safe, seaweed based, inexpensive, moldmaking material), the teens thought of symbols to create molds of and cast in ice to place in public space in the loop. Some of the symbols included peace signs, hearts formed from hands, and palms.
Here are some reflections from the teens about the workshop:
Spending time in London has served as a poignant reminder of how war can create indelible marks on the landscape and collective memory of a country. This year marks the 100 anniversary of the beginning of Britain’s involvement in the first World War. Through out the city there are monuments, art displays and other tributes to the soldiers who fought to defend Great Britain. One of the most powerful is Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, an installation at the Tower of London where the ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper have installed 888,246 ceramic poppies within the Tower’s famous moat and pour over the castle walls. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war and serves as a massive visual reference to the tremendous loss of life during this conflict. Each poppy has been sold to the public to raise millions of pounds to be divided among 6 UK charities that support veterans and military families.
Another powerful body of work was a collection of photographs revisiting sites of conflict from the first World War. Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace is an outdoor touring exhibition and educational resource center featuring 60 large scale photographs capturing the World War landscapes as they are today. “Based not on the horrors of war, but how time and nature can heal the most scarred battle landscape, the exhibition seeks to engage every community in the First World War commemorations, via an extensive tour of UK cities and town centers between 2014 and 2018,” the duration of Britain’s involvement in the conflict. (Michael St Maur Sheil, artist).
Seeing these artworks reminded me how fortunate we are an Americans to have not seen a war fought within the United States since the Civil War and how art can be used to transform powerful narratives into lasting reminders of history and heroism.
-From Oct 22-27, NVAM education was honored to travel to London on behalf of Hive Chicago to represent NVAM at Mozfest
What happens when you take 15 teens to the Chicago History Museum?
First of all– I was impressed by the connections and insight that the teens made in regards to engaging with history and their role in the results of important social political and cultural events that impacted our city as well as the country as a whole.
We spent time looking at photos in the Vivian Maier exhibition which captures the streets and people of Chicago in candid, everyday happenings. These photos highlighted important historical events like the Democratic Convention of 1968 and the race riots following the assassination of Martin luther King Jr., but it also showcased the day to day moments that reveal the true life of the city. Both themes were recognized and admired by the teens who could recognize neighborhoods and contemplate how these events affected the lives they are living today– both similar and different, complicated and commonplace.
This sentiment continued in our viewing of the Exhibition 1968 which showcases the overwhelming multitude of events and trends of the year that shaped the future of our country, still evident today. From these events, teens were asked to focus on one that really stood out or grabbed their attention. This event will be used as inspiration for an art project we will be working on in the coming weeks looking at identity, history and looking into the future. Additional questions included what did you learn today? Who will you be in 50 years? What will you remember and what will have changed? to supplement generating ideas for a reflective art project.
Teen Council made a list of things they learned during their trip. Here are a few highlights:
> The largest population of young people were entering college and being drafted (baby boomers) a major drive of the energy of the 60s.
> If Robert Kennedy was not assassinated he would probably have been elected president.
> The first Miss Black America Pageant was held, giving black women a chance to role model and represent their beauty.
> Don’t put ketchup on a Chicago Style Hot Dog
The National Veterans Art Museum and YOUmedia have partnered together to create The Great Artdoors: a public art workshop series! Teens are invited to participate in the drop-in workshops every other Wednesday from 4:30-5:30PM at YOUmedia on the first floor of the Harold J. Washington Library. Get a preview of what the teens are doing on the Great Artdoors window in the front of the library on Jackson Blvd!
To recap: teens have had a walking tour of the loop, identifying and discussing commercial vs. fine art public art as well as exploring and photographing possible places for creating public art. Teens were introduced to different artists working with graffiti arts including Iraq veteran artist (U.S. Marine Corps) and Hip-Hopper Melvin Lyons. Teens discussed the artists’ processes, how public art can be large scale and intensively planned with a team or more spontaneous and individual, what is legal vs. illegal, and also looking directly at the graffiti laws in Chicago. Teens collected images that represent or inspires them and used these images to make packing tape image transfer and practice wheat pasting.
Here are some reflections of YOUmedia teens on the Great Artdoors:
“I’ve had a wonderful time with Marcus and Moki during my few weeks in The Great Artdoors. I’ve made tape transfers, wheat pastings, and even some calligraphy! I can’t wait to see what projects they come up with in the future.”
“My experience with the workshop so far has been great. I learned how to make wheat paste and I also learned how to reach my inner creativity and embrace it. Like: I liked the wheat-paste activity where I slapped my image on the pillar. Dislike: the breeze when we went out on the field trip. Suggestions: We could spray paint actual walls. Learned: How to get in depth with your creative side and express it doing creative things.”
“We went out in the neighborhood about a month or two ago and we looked at street art, murals and sculptures. I like how we keep everyone involved; like how Moki, Marcus, and Daniel keeps everyone involved in the activity. I disliked how we didn’t have enough time to see everything. “
Our mission at the National Veterans Art Museum is “to inspire a greater understanding of the real impact of war through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. The art in our collection helps civilians understand the effects of war and provides veterans with outlets for expression.” All of the work in our collection is created by artists that have served, but there is another side to the war experience. Mac MacDervitt is an teacher and artist that uses images and text from media created during the Vietnam War. Mac strongly disagreed with the Vietnam War and avoided the draft by enrolling in school to become an educator. However, even though he did not serve in the war, it has influenced his life greatly. Mac puts the images and text on wooden blocks and invites participants to rearrange the blocks to create meaningful conversations amongst the images in interactive collages. Check out the gallery below to see Mac and visiting veterans: Travis Bickford and Meosha Thomas interacting with the collages.
My new position as the Assistant Education Coordinator at the National Veterans Art Museum has rekindled my interest in researching history and recognizing how relevant this history is in a contemporary context specifically through art. I think it is really important to understand the history of a place before and after war. For example long before 1954 when the Vietnam War started there is a long history of occupation and colonization by China (until the 9th century), France (1858-1940, 1945-1950), and Japan (1940-1945). The long enduring struggle of the Vietnamese people and a sense of ownership and freedom escalated into the Vietnam War.
Here is an incredibly brief look at this escalation: Ho Chi Minh, communist revolutionary leader, declared an independent Vietnam, called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and helped lead the defeat of the French Union at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.The Vietnam War started in 1954 between Communist Northern Vietnam with the southern allies, the Viet Cong, against anti-communist Southern Vietnam and the United States (who declared it our nation’s mission to end communism). U.S. combat troops were sent in 1965 after assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, first president of Southern Vietnam in 1963. After years of terror and violence, The United States withdrew forces in 1973, only two years prior when North Vietnamese overran the southern capital, Saigon, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam unified as a communist country, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in 1976.
The Vietnam War ended years ago, but still remains as important as critical discussion as it’s influence on American culture from social politics to media and art. I am looking at the timeline of the history of the Vietnam War through the lens of protest music and the new lives that songs can have in different contexts and throughout time. Here is a small sample of songs from the beginning of my research:
>This selection of Vietnam War Protest songs begins with Eve of Destruction (1965) written by P.F. Sloan and performed by Barry McGuire which famously references the age that one could be drafted (18) versus the age that one could vote in the majority of states (21) “You’re old enough to kill, but not for voting”.
>Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) reaction to the Vietnam War with Unknown Soldier (1968) specifically references concerns in the way the public was receiving information about the war through the media. Images coming to the states from over seas from Vietnam were uncensored for the most part and it shocked the American public, causing immense distress. Veterans coming home from war were horribly mistreated from the misunderstanding of the images filtering through the media. Today the American public is “protected” from real images of war. For example this “The War Photo No One Would Publish” an article by Torie Rose DeGhett from The Atlantic, discusses a photograph taken by Kenneth Jareck on February 28, 1991 of an Iraqi soldier burned alive while trying to escape from his truck and how Jareck thought “The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices”. What is right and wrong?
>I have also included I-Am-Fixin-To-Die Rag (1967) written by Country Joe McDonald, one of the more famous anti-war protest songs of Vietnam and the video is from an unplanned and impassioned performance of the song at Woodstock in 1969 which was featured with a bouncing ball, singalong in the 1970 documentary, Woodstock.
> War (1969) is a famous Motown song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong as “a blatant anti-Vietnam war protest” originally recorded by The Temptations, however is most known for the powerful performance by Edwin Starr. War remains a popular song today and has also been performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Bruce Springsteen.
>I chose to end the sample playlist with Orange Crush (1988) by R.E.M. one of my favorite bands growing up, but only from doing this research is it the first time that I recognized that Michael Stipe, lead singer, was singing about a young man going to Vietnam and Agent Orange, aerial herbicide manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense by the Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. It was been years since the Vietnam War ended, but contemporary artists are referencing what happened because the Vietnam War remains relevant and impactful today.
Please comment below for your thoughts, opinions, and feedback!
It’s been a quiet week here at NVAM. I came in Tuesday in a rush to get things done by 1pm only to realize that the program had ended and I wouldn’t be greeted by the usual sounds of rummaging through art materials, shaking of spray cans and all the smiles and laughter I looked forward to every afternoon. *sigh* The work space is still filled with all the residual art making bits and pieces– sketches and practice pieces, folders of notes and idea maps. I MISS OUR TEENS!!
The good news…… August 14 we will it will be #25memories part 2 as we showcase all the amazing art made by the teen apprentices at the Destination Chicago event at the Chicago Cultural Center from 11am-3pm!! (come by and visit us! We are showing tons of work and the blog right next to our partners YouMedia!)
AND!!! Teen council will start up in September! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for details! (and email email@example.com if you or someone you know is interested in signing up!)
Way way back when it was cold in Chicago (winter-ugh!) YOUmedia was working with NVAM teaching artist Carolyn Hoerdemann making art in response to our permanent exhibition They Things They Carried, inspired by the book of the same name written byTim O’Brien. This coming September we will be unveiling a new TTTC exhibition with digital and hands on interactive components, art and artifacts paying tribute to those who served in Vietnam and continue to serve today. Take a look back at some of the artwork and interactions made by YOUmedia teens in early 2014.
(Follow these links! https://www.flickr.com/photos/youmediachicago/sets/72157644926001556/
This summer, we were honored to work with 16 talented teens that came to us from throughout the city as a part of the After School Matters apprenticeship program. For 6 weeks, the group worked in the museum learning about different approaches to making art and how to use these skills to share narratives, memories and response to experience.
Teens in the program developed their own final projects after experimenting with art processes including digital photography, video production, graffiti, drawing, paintings and clay sculpture. These art works and installations will be on display at NVAM on August 1 for the ASM Summer Regional Art Exhibition and at the Chicago Cultural Center on August 14th for the Chicago City of Learning Summer Showcase.
NVAM Out Loud was developed to provide a platform for younger visitors, specifically teens, to respond and connect to the artwork in the museum collection. Classrooms and school collaborations with the museum as well as youth and groups interested in contributing to the website are encouraged to submit blog posts, comment on student work and upload artwork to our online gallery or email this content directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Artwork currently on display was generated through workshops, in response to veteran tours and as part of education programing that has taken place at NVAM over that past few months. We intend to see the content of this online space grow and develop throughout the upcoming school year.
Education Coordinator Christine Bespalec-Davis was pleased to represent the National Veterans Art Museum at Destination: Chicago, a festival of doing and making for all ages presented by the Chicago City of Learning.