Uumbaji Art Gallery Military Veterans Exhibit Kicks Off War Veterans Commemoration Events
By Gael Reyes
Artwork by military veteran artists will be featured in the Uumbaji Art Gallery’s newest exhibit opening Oct. 31. The exhibit, Call to Arts: An Art Exhibit by Military Veterans, will be open to the public from Oct. 31 to Dec. 1. Artists and the public will be greeted with an opening reception on Nov. 3 from 5-7:30 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to all and will feature works in a variety of media.
Uumbaji Gallery curator Moema Furtado has previously curated a similar exhibit with the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center and believes that “this exhibit at Kent State will complement the Uumbaji Gallery commitment to exhibit works that speak to a wide audience, thereby exposing our students, faculty, staff and the community to issues that are of interest to us all.”
“Art is powerful,” Furtado says. “Each one of the participants in the exhibit found a way to express their concerns and feelings through art. I thank the artists for sharing their works with us.”
Each piece will be accompanied by a short paragraph from the artist describing their military background. These descriptions will give the artwork a deeper context.
The Uumbaji Art Gallery is housed in the Department of Pan-African Studies in Ritchie Hall. Regular gallery hours are from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Josh Rider, director of Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services, believes that the “Call to Arts” exhibit also can benefit civilians.
“I think that the creative arts are incredibly important for both the veterans, as well as the civilian population,” Rider says. “It is an outlet for the veteran and a learning experience for the civilian to be able to start to grasp the experiences and sacrifices these men and women have made to ensure our freedoms.”
This exhibit will kick off the campuswide War Veterans Commemoration events this November. A committee was formed at the beginning of this year that planned not only the art exhibit but also a screening of Restrepo, a feature-length documentary about the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, that will take place in the Kent Student Center Kiva on Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.
On Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m., the May 4 Visitor Center will present Edward Linenthal speaking on “Violence and the American Landscape: From Lexington and Concord to 9/11, an Illustrated Lecture.”
“There will be many opportunities during this commemoration for visitors to engage: art, film, speakers, etcetera,” Rider says. “Each person will have the ability to decide which medium or media assist them in understanding this particular and unique human experience: that of war, its survival and transition back to civilian life.”
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information about any of these events, contact Furtado at firstname.lastname@example.org.