Oceanside Public Library participated in the Community Conversations with Veterans project this year, creating a unique series of arts-based community events. Below is the flyer for the opening reception of the Portrait of a Woman Veteran exhibit, which was part of downtown Oceanside’s First Friday ArtWalk. Pairing artists and veterans for this project facilitated powerful conversations that were cathartic for the veterans and a learning experience for the artists. One of the artists who participated on the project wrote in his artist statement, “If we as humans try to connect with and try and understand the perspectives of others, we become closer… leading to a bigger picture of the world.” The artworks from the Portrait of a Woman Veteran project were exhibited for a month at the Library, during which the public was able to reflect on the stories that the portraits told. Viewing the works provided for a meaningful and intimate experience for the community. The closing celebration featured the veterans who participated in the project and a few of the artists meeting to discuss their experiences.
Photos below and at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmEgup5a.
Thank you Monica and Hilary for creating the content for this post and big thanks to the Oceanside Public Library team for the arts and community based programming inspiration!