'War in the Arts' explored in extensive new exhibit

Opening reception is on Nov. 4: Exhibit will complement film screening and discussion on the theme of war

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  • "Black Sea Lullaby," oil painting by Mia Wolff

  • "Home at Last," charcoal on paper, by Kelly Seiz

  • "Jungle Boots," oil painting by Kevin Storms

  • "Thorns," forged steel by Bill Graziano

— A new art show expresses the effect of war on the human spirit, community, family, ethnic groups, and countries, from the distant past through the present day.

"War in the Arts: Redeeming Spirits" will be on exhibit in November at Orange Hall Gallery in Middletown. Its paintings, drawings, sculptures, assemblages, collages, photography, embroidery and fabric, animation, video, and poetry reflect the artists' personal reactions to war.

The extensive exhibit is curated by Karen Gersch.

"This is not intended to be political," says a statement from SUNY Orange, which is hosting the exhibit.

Several participants are war veterans themselves, including an 87-year-old Korean War combat photographer. The reflections are poignant and powerful.

The show includes representational, semi-abstract, and abstract styles. It takes in the Civil War, World War I and World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, wars in Central America, 9/11, the Nigerian Civil War, the conflicts between Israel and Palestine, misplaced migrant workers, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Poems express pervasive fear and horror while often uplifting the human spirit to move forward.

Schedule of eventsOpening reception: The opening reception will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. Pianist Geoff Hamburg will play classical and contemporary music. The exhibit will be on view from Nov. 2 through 20, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; and during performances in the William and Helen Richards Theatre at Orange Hall.

'Art in the Face of War': Also, on Friday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m., the film "Art in the Face of War" will be screened in the gallery. The exhibit, reception, and film screening are free and open to the public.

' Lyric in a Time of War': In addition, on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m., the American String Quartet will present "Lyric in a Time of War" with author Phil Klay and poet Tom Sleigh reading selections from their written works. This performance includes an admission fee. Students, veterans, and active military personnel will be admitted free.

Orange Hall is located on the campus of SUNY Orange at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues, Middletown. For more information call 341-4891.

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