Coinciding with Veterans Day is the opening of the exhibit Intrusive Thoughts – an Exhibition of Work by Veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Global War on Terror at Chicago’s National Veterans Art Museum. Intrusive Thoughts includes art created by at least 10 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exploring themes of occupation and intrusion.
Chicago is fortunate to be home to the world’s only museum that contains a permanent collection focusing on the subject of war from the artistic perspective of the people who experienced all of the suffering, horrors, and realities of war – the veterans themselves. The museum contains paintings, photography, sculpture, and poetry, all created by veterans as a chronicle of their personal experiences in war. To view war through the eyes of those who were intimately involved in it offers a very different experience from much of the traditional military art.
Although the museum has historically focused on the Vietnam War, it is broadening its mission to include art by all veterans as evidenced by this latest exhibit.
Intrusive thoughts, as defined by this exhibit, are those that are involuntary, upsetting, unwelcome, and often difficult to eliminate, “silent signs of our current occupations in our local communities, households, and memories.” The Intrusive Thoughts exhibit is intended to bring these silent signs experienced by veterans into the open to “give these traumas a voice in the political and cultural discussion of today.”
The opening of Intrusive Thoughts takes place from 5-8pm on Thursday, November 11 with Artist Talks at 7pm. The exhibit will run from Veterans Day until May 2011.
The National Veterans Art Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm with extended hours until 8pm on Veterans Day for the opening of this special exhibit. Museum admission is $10 ($7 for students).
The museum is located on the third floor at 1801 S. Indiana Avenue in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. There is some street parking.
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