Veterans as Artists: TransitionsOctober 2017
“Veterans as Artists: Transitions,” was an exhibition of Veterans’ Art in the Horizons Gallery. Curated by Jackie Albarella, co-founder of Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative, the show featured over 20 works from Western New York veterans and active service members. This work, by accomplished artists and beginning artists, demonstrated how these veterans use art as a manner of expressing complex feelings. Fear, hope, and joy all have a place in these works, which are all connected through their experience of serving our country.
“The quality of the art work showcased in this exhibit is truly remarkable,” said Albarella. “The artists are united by their service to our country, and their creations are incredibly diverse.”
The Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative was started in 2010 by Jackie Albarella and Dan Frontera. Two neighborhood friends, Jackie, an artist, and Dan, an Iraq War veteran, decided to use their personal experiences to help returning Vets cope with the tensions of coming home after deployment. With the help of Jim Becker, a VA therapist, the group was founded. The program has served over 500 men and women whose war experience spans Vietnam to the current conflict.
Jackie Albarella is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, artist and author. Her photography has been exhibited throughout the country with one-woman exhibits including The Burchfield Penney Art Center. She is the author of three books. Her most recent, The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune’s Masterpiece, follows with photographs and interviews, the restoration of architect Louise Bethune’s masterpiece, and the companion film aired on WNED–TV, Buffalo/Niagara.