By Sharon Lenius, Chair of the Military Libraries Group
DC/SLA Members met with Artist-in-Residence, Martin Cervantez at the Workhouse Arts Center (WAC) in the McGuireWoods Gallery to “walk and talk” about the exhibit “In It Together: Service Members, Community and Dialogue Through Art.” A variety of art media – paintings, a chicken-wire enclosed tubing with many prescription drug bottle and holders of all kinds wended its way across the ceiling for 30 yards or so, a very wounded patient (dummy) on a stretcher (the work of an Army Nurse) plus a fabric flower – one side fuchsia red velvet, the other side camo uniform material – with one petal fallen off, were a few of the dramatic art pieces on view. A side gallery offered a display of Martin Cervantez’ works that are on the large, public-spaces viewing scale. Martin served as a Combat Artist in Iraq and Afghanistan for the US Army Center for Military History.
A special display, the result of a workshop held in early April, depicted a multi-visual experience; poems, essays, drawings, photos on very special paper…..made from recycled camo uniform materials. Definitely a case of “swords into plowshares.”
Visiting the Gift Shop at the WAC, Admin Bldg 12 revealed the breadth of talent at the Center. Touring Gallery 5 & 6 (where we again met Martin Cervantez in his studio) was a quick walk through a variety of ceramic, fabric, portraiture, landscapes in cloth, and clever designs of all kinds.
The town of Occoquan beckoned for a light lunch at the Secret Garden on the backyard terrace. We enjoyed the atmosphere and afterwards walked some of the streets, checking out various shops with a stop at the VFW Yard Sale.
Next on the Military Libraries Group program agenda is the experience of a “Twilight Tattoo” at Fort Myer, VA. It will be a Wednesday evening event – could include a picnic! Program begins at 6:30 pm with the pageantry of the full Twilight Tattoo from 7 – 8 pm. This is free and open to the public. Check the video featured on the right column of the Twilight Tattoo site to learn about this history filled event. Exact date – TBD.
[Photos courtesy of Martin Cervantez]