The “A Military Life” exhibit in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum began in May of 2012 as a way to honor Washington County veterans and share their stories. The rotating exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and the Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by Marion Light. Past exhibits have honored veterans from World War One through Operation Enduring Freedom, and have displayed uniforms, personal equipment and mementoes, medals, and much more. The goal of the exhibit has always been to focus on aspects of military service that people usually don’t think about, such as the food, down time, distance from family and friends, and training information. Aspects of the exhibits have touched on war time, but they’ve also discussed peace time service and what happens after a soldier returns home. The seventh installment of “A Military Life” features work from The Warrior’s Canvas and it is the first veterans’ art exhibit to be on display in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum.
We were thrilled when Marion Light approached us earlier this year and proposed a meeting between The Warrior’s Canvas and the Heritage Alliance. That initial meeting led to the exhibit currently on display, and we’re very proud to partner with The Warrior’s Canvas to share the artwork of local veterans and their powerful mission. Established two years ago by veterans David Shields and Jason Sabbides, the Warrior’s Canvas and Veterans Art Center is a 501C3 nonprofit organization whose “purpose is to build an artist community of military veterans, to provide a professional gallery for artist veterans to display and sell their work, and to be a rallying point and gathering place for veterans of all branches of military service.” In addition to providing studio space for veterans and their families, the Warrior’s Canvas also holds art classes in various media, from drawing and painting, to photography, and much more. They are currently organizing the first casino Northeast Tennessee Ruck and Roll on November 14th that will include a series of ruck marches and runs to honor local veterans.
The artwork featured in the exhibit includes paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, and more. The pieces display a wide array of color and themes, some depict scenes that deal with military service, and others show expression in the forms of flying fowl and ships at sea. The artists are diverse, and they span different genders, ages, branches of service, wars/conflicts, and artistic mediums. Information on their studio/gallery located at 320 East Main Street in Johnson City, and their upcoming programs and classes is also available in the museum. The “A Military Life” exhibit will be a part of Jonesborough’s 32nd tribute to veterans hosted on November 8th at 2:30 at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center. If you can’t make it out on November 8th, the exhibit will be on display through the first months of 2016.