Visions of War is a series of veteran-focused exhibits
and workshops that honor the men and women who have served in the military. It
is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and
Mid-State Technical College that has been going on for the past two years.
The program aims to give student-veterans and other
members of the university and the central Wisconsin community a chance to think
about their war experiences and to use art to express themselves.
Leslie DeBauche, one of the coordinators on the
committee for Visions of War, said a whole range of departments and colleges
help to fund the activities for this year.
“This year the program includes an exhibition called
‘Always Lost’ that includes photographs of all the service women and men who
have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” DeBauche said.
Ann Whipp, another member on the committee and the
Veterans Coordinator on campus, says that the “Always Lost: A Meditation on
War” exhibit was initially created by students at Western Nevada College.
“It consists of over 30 panels of the names and photos
of all the military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11,” Whipp
Additionally, there will be photographs from David
Lesson, a 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winner, and Cheryl Diaz Meyer. There will also be
literary work from Professor Swirczek’s creative writing classes, veterans and
their families, the Lone Mountain Writers group and other Northern Nevada
“This exhibit reminds us that war is very personal and
affects us all,” Whipp said.
The display is located in the Dreyfus University Center
next to the Laird room until the closing ceremony on Thursday, April 25 from
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
During Visions of War, there will also be a visit from
Nate Lewis of Combat Paper. Lewis helps veterans use their uniforms to make
paper and then make art with the paper.
“We will be making journals out of the pulped uniform
paper, and also veterans and other participants will have the opportunity to
make art or anything out of the paper that is made the week that Combat Paper
is on campus,” DeBauche said.
Also on campus will be Lovalla Calico from Warrior
Writers. Calico and two other members of her organization will work with
student and community veterans to write about their experience of war.
Nancy Schaperkotter, the director of Student Support at
Mid-State Technical College, said the writing and art workshops support
artistic exploration and expression and are open to all veterans, service
members, military families and members of the community.
“Warrior Writers support and empower veterans through
creativity, wellness and open dialogue between veterans and the civilian
community in order to promote connection, understanding and healing,”
Warrior Writers also offers prompts to encourage the
sharing of stories, opinions and ideas about various military issues and
experiences. The workshops empower veterans and military families to release
bottled-up thoughts and emotions through writing and art.
“We have also invited award-winning film-maker and vet
Kyle Hausmann-Stokes to campus,” DeBauche said.
Hausmann-Stokes will show his film and speak on
“Paradigm Shift: Iraq, College, PTSD, and How I Found Therapy through
Filmmaking.” Hausmann-Stokes always wanted to pursue a career in film but
joined the army out of high school and was disturbed by the lack of support
from civilians back home. He now has his own professional film company, Blue
Three Productions, where he creates content that addresses veteran affairs.
“For me, the purpose of these events is to offer our
veterans different ways to process their experiences and promote healing. The
‘Always Lost: A Meditation on War’ exhibit is a reminder that the effects of
war are personal and ongoing with the loss of our children, parents, neighbors
and friends,” Whipp said.
Whipp believes that Visions of War is important because
it informs people about the human costs of war through the exhibit and offers different
ways for people to process war’s effects.
“We have included several receptions for people to
gather and communicate about what they have seen and heard through Visions of
War and about their personal experiences and thoughts about war,” Whipp said.
Events are free and open to the public and will be held
throughout the month of April. Two of the writers’ workshops are reserved for
student and community veterans. The third workshop is open to all.