“Travel Distance” & “The Veterans Book Project” First Friday Opening

Blue Star Contemporary

June 3, 2022 6:00 pm - June 3, 2022 9:00 pm

Celebrate First Friday with the exhibition openings of two new shows featuring military-connected and veteran artists.
Travel Distance guest curator Amber Zora will lead a free walkthrough of the group exhibition she curated for BSC’s main gallery at 6 PM.
(Image: Artwork by Jessica Putnam-Phillips)
Curated by Amber Zora
June 3-September 25, 2022
Main Gallery
featuring: Miridith Campbell (Kiowa), Joe Devera, Claudia Hare, Jenn Hassin, Gina Herrera, Monte Little (Diné), Jessica Putnam–Phillips, Daniel Rios Rodriguez, Renee Romero, and Sarah Sudhoff
Travel Distance explores the military experience of service members and their families. The artworks featured represent how veterans and their families have processed, moved through, purged, and reclaimed their experience around military service.
Deployment and relocations can be and often are confusing times. Individual military members grapple with their daily tasks at hand while processing their distance from home and the future. For families who have undergone multiple deployments, there is a constant reshuffling of the household order. On the other side, everyone mourns the lost time and attempts to put the pieces back together. But the pieces often do not fit like they did before.
The exhibition also explores the multitudes of the veteran-identity. Veterans are parents, siblings, immigrants, Indigenous peoples, environmentalists and more. Even though service members and their families are widely depicted in the media from insurance commercials to sniper movies, the common media portrayal does not represent the uniqueness and differences within the veteran population.
June 3-September 25, 2022
Learning Lab
The Veterans Book Project is a library of books authored collaboratively by artist Monica Haller and dozens of people who have been affected by, and have archives of, the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In their printed format, the books provide a place or “container” that slows down and materializes the great quantity of ephemeral image files that live on veterans’ hard drives and in their heads.
Each book re-deploys volatile images with the aim of rearticulating and refashioning memories. It stands both independent of and in concert with the larger collection.
Riley Sharbonno and his story sets the framework for the Veterans Book Project. Riley and his story (Onestar Press, 2009) was authored by Haller and veteran Riley Sharbonno from the hundreds of digital images Sharbonno shot while deployed in Iraq as a nurse at Abu Ghraib prison. Riley and his story came out of a four-year, opened-ended collaboration and established the framework for the Veterans Book Project. www.rileyandhisstory.com