Veterans exhibit takes flight in Wings Gallery

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

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The Wings Student Art Gallery serves as a temporary home for student artwork year-round. The small exhibit space in the Student Services Center has seen many collections come and go, but its current exhibit will mark the first of its kind. “Artwork by Student Veterans” features work by six student veterans: JoAnn Hartley, Ted E. Mueller, Thomas Gimm, Linda Kirby, and Kenneth and Henryk Jacobs. The artists have been inspired by their travels overseas as well as while adventuring just a few states away.

One of the artists featured is photography major JoAnn Hartley. After dedicating 25 years of her life to raising a family, she decided to go back to school to embrace her creative side. While visiting her daughter in New York City, Hartley embraced the impersonal culture of the subway and photographed it as if she were an outsider looking in.

Hartley considers herself to be a worldly person, but felt uneasy on the streets of the city. She has three photographs on display and explains many would not jump to assume she created them.

“Every artist has two sides. There are marketable views and there are real world views,” Hartley said. “This is the edgiest thing I have done. Most of [my work] is of children and families.

Painter of 20 years Ted E. Mueller has taken advanced painting multiple times under the instruction of Jennifer Hereth. He is also a member of IArtists, a group of Hereth’s students who donate work to victims of Hurricane Katrina. He has taken the class so many times because of the artistic freedom Hereth gives her students. After serving in the military for eight years, Mueller picked up the hobby to recreate beautiful scenes he saw first hand as well as those he has seen in travel brochures. He also paints religious scenes and satirical images of others’ pieces. Mueller has four paintings on display in the exhibit.

Both Hartley and Mueller are thankful for the opportunities they have been given to express their creativity and advance their schooling. Both artists attribute their success to the encouragement they have received from their instructors at College of DuPage, who they say let students discover their own artistic influence.

The idea for a veterans’ exhibit was given to college art curator Barbara Weisen just moments too late for the exhibit to take place last year. Weisen now anticipates to continue this exhibit in the future.

“I would guess that it will become annual thing during the fall so that veterans can have a full exhibit rather than just on Veteran’s Day,” Weisen said.