Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan
On view November 11, 2005-January 1, 2006
When America goes to war, courageous men and women volunteering in service to their country lead the charge. And, each one on them carries a personal history, a family, and a unique dedication to the nation. In Hampton Roads, where military families compose the largest segment of the workforce, these soldiers, sailors and airmen are the fabric of the community.
Perhaps in no other place in the country do the stories of our servicemen and servicewomen resonate more deeply and universally than here in Hampton Roads. When a single carrier deploys for Iraq, 5,000 members of our community depart in the call to duty and 5,000 families wait for their loved ones to return safely.
The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia is proud to present Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan, an exhibit of the communications that servicemen and servicewomen make with home before and during their service in the war on terror. From videotapes made by sailors for their children’s birthdays to e-mails discussing the reality of the battle line, Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan will illuminate the sacrifice our military families make.
First-person accounts of the war, letters to family, pictures drawn by children, joyous reunions, and moving stories of grief and loss all illuminate the experiences of military families in this time of war. The audio, video, and written word that forms an anecdotal narrative of their lives, achievements, and sacrifices will be presented in an engaging museum exhibition. Even as the public and members of the military themselves hold widely varying views about the politics of war, appreciation of the sacrifice of individuals in service to the nation is universal. Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan is nonpolitical by design and will examine the most personal communications among military families and their loved ones in modern times.
The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia will design, assemble and curate Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan. opening on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2005. As the world’s largest naval installation and home of 15 military bases, Hampton Roads is the natural starting point for Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibit is expected to travel to art museums in other areas of the country. Spouses’ groups and other military support organizations are likely participants in the project.
Taylor Kiland will serve as guest curator for Letters from Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms. Kiland is a Navy veteran, who after her term of service, created the acclaimed exhibition Open Doors: Vietnam POWs Thirty Years Later with Jamie Quinn in 2002. “Open Doors” traveled the country to outstanding reviews and led to the publication of Kiland and Quinn’s accompanying book. Kiland lives in Arlington, Virginia and has family in Virginia Beach.View the flyer here, for information on how you can submit an item for this exhibition.