PORTAGE PARK — The National Veterans Art Museum will mark Veterans Day with the opening of an exhibit designed to spotlight those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The exhibit "100 Faces of War Experience: Portraits and Words of Americans Who Served in Iraq and Afghanistan," which was started in 2005 by artist Matt Mitchell, will make its Chicago debut Tuesday at the museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Working with Dan Burland, a sociologist specializing in military and the family, Mitchell wanted the exhibit to show the full spectrum of those who have served, as well as those who have given their lives while serving, museum officials said.
The exhibition, which will run through May 1, will feature a compilation of 100 stories of military and civilian men and women, including 10 who died while serving. Each oil-on-canvas portrait resembles a cross-section of different ranks, jobs, genders and races, museum officials said.
The exhibit will also mark the museum's second anniversary in Portage Park. It opened in the Six Corners Shopping District in Portage Park in November 2012 as part of an effort to turn the area into an arts and entertainment district to attract shoppers and diners.
“Matt Mitchell has created an exciting visual experience personifying post 9-11 veterans,” said Ash Kyrie, the curator of the exhibition.
The soldiers Mitchell painted were allowed to contribute up to 250 words about their experience to accompany the portrait, while families of fallen veterans provided their words.
“It is my hope that the sum total of portraits and words in ‘100 Faces’ will speak profoundly of the weight of the American experience of war,” Mitchell said.
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