Invisible Becoming Visible: An Exhibition of Veterans’ Art

Hosted by the University of North Florida (UNF) – Oct 31 – Dec 7, 2018. Guest Curator & UNF Coordinator, Jerome H. Domask, Vietnam Veteran, Army (RET), Artist.

This was the first nationally curated veteran art exhibit of its genre, exploring the healing power of art by veterans covering approximately 60 years of American history; spanning part of the Cold War, Vietnam and the Middle East hostilities. The six invited veteran artists represented a diverse group from all the services and their demographics therein, with few exceptions. Their artworks provided a means of purging agony and grief; moving from darkness to light with healing to hope, and finally, to a path of encouragement and enlightenment.

The featured artists were:
Major Theodore Gostas, Army Major (RET), Former POW, Served in Germany & Vietnam.
Spent 4.5 years in solitary confinement of 5+ years as POW. “Even when they were killing me I was laughing, because I was crazy!” Most renowned POW artist, poet and playwright. American hero and icon! Creates his stark reality through his artworks and poems of being isolated and continuously tortured for years, never knowing if he would survive until the next day. You will feel his pain, experience his grief and begin to glimpse his agony!

Johnathan Clark, Army, 173d Airborne Bridge.
Service related medical discharge. Stationed in post 9/11 Afghanistan. Currently living in a veteran homeless shelter. Raw, edgy, trending collages. On the move!

Barbara Barnett (Harsh), Army, served in Germany, Cold War/Vietnam Era
. PhD in Psychology.
“Art has saved my life, adding an amazing tool for dealing with pain and keeping my soul alive.” See Seattle Times video, Amnesia/Denial. Painted powerful “Woman Warrior” series! Published Author/Poet. Women role model that has learned to roar!

David Keefe, Marine Corps. Service in Post 9/11 Iraq (Riverine Infantry Scout).
Currently Senior Assistant Dean, Columbia University, NY. Prolific artist with numerous exhibitions, awards, residencies, and publications. Exhibit coordinator, curator and author. Co-developed Combat Papers. MFA, BFA. Multi-talented artist/educator/mentor to many!

James (Jim) Miller, Army. Service related medical disability retirement (combat injury), Kuwait.
Uses his art creations to navigate his emotional upheaval (PTSD) and combat injuries. Explosive drawings, childlike simplicity at times, graffiti images. Exciting, fresh, riveting multimedia works. Member of Limp Goat Collective. Former Art Coordinator at Veterans Therapeutic Art Center, North, IN.

Skip Rohde, Navy (RET), Served in Cold War (Bosnia), Vietnam Era & Post 9/11 (Afghanistan).
Eclectic mix of artwork; pastels, paintings of political/social satirical commentaries. Classic and representational renderings of people and places. 80+ drawings at Smithsonian. Master artist, Art Studio Owner. BFA.

INVISIBLE BECOMING VISIBLE provided the veterans with a voice, a stage and dialogue with society. It defined and dignified their artworks, who experienced what most of society will never truly understand, and never have to face! For them, art becomes a catharsis to release the trauma and mental torture of the past while fostering an understanding for their loved ones and society!

For a more detailed view of INVISIBLE BECOMING VISIBLE, visit online HERE.