BY CARLOS GARCIA
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Phyllis Miller in front of her art piece, “The Price of Freedom” at the Veterans Art Exhibition.
College of the Desert’s Marks Art Center (MAC) hosted “A Veterans Exhibition” on Sept. 5. The event featured art pieces ranging from contemporary art, post-impressionism and abstract expressionism. Incorporating the veterans from the U.S. Navy, Army and the Marines. Musical entertainment at the event was provided by COD’s Ballet Folklorico Club Sabor a mi Tierra.
The exhibit kicked things off with artists (the veterans) expressing their art pieces. Each art piece signified something meaningful to the artists. Their tones quickly became full of hardship, with the mourning of their past memories and the revival of their memories because of their art pieces.
A piece titled, “Concrete Truck” by Gil Hayes. The piece didn’t have a significant meaning to war itself, but rather significant to the artist. Truly opening himself up like all other artists. And giving the audience an insight into their life. Though it had no ties to actual war, it did have ties to post-war. Explaining, “life after returning to war was harsh, I went straight into construction. I was a broken man with many problems.”
Phyllis T. Miller, a former U.S. Navy sailor, explained her piece, “The Price of Freedom” as a moving piece. Each section of the painting all had very different meaning from one another. From top-to-bottom, corner-to-corner. you could see the misery and the misfortune of what war is really like. “As an artist, I go for the visual beyond words; to illustrate the scene”. Miller expresses her piece as a tribute of which symbolized every war fought in World War I.
“The images are reflecting the past wars, and the symbolism of each image within the painting tells a story of the wars past of veterans [men and women] of valor who paid the price for us,” said Miller.
Third-year COD student, Jenny Lopez’s favorite piece was Miller’s “The Price of Freedom,” “it’s definitely a sight to see when students take the time out of their day and head out to such an event like this,” said Lopez. “I think its pretty cool how the veterans are expressing their feelings through their art. I believe it’s what a lot of people tend to need, especially when it has to deal with people who served in the war,” said Lopez.
COD Art faculty member, Anna-Marie Veloz expressed her gratitude at the event. “I’m extremely thankful, and yes very glad for the outcome of the event. We have great participation and a lot of support.”
The gallery will remain open until September 26, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marks Art Center.