Uumbaji Gallery celebrates military veteran artists

Gael Reyes

Kent State’s Uumbaji Art Gallery honored military veteran artists with its Call to Arts exhibit reception on Thursday.

The Call to Arts exhibit features artwork by military veterans, and opened to the public at the beginning of the week. The opening reception allowed artists to mingle with gallery visitors.

David Farrow, a military veteran and artist, is showing five paintings at the gallery. Farrow said that painting has helped him “immensely.” One of Farrow’s paintings, titled “Sweet Magic,” is of a mountain that he considers his escape.

“When things bother me, I head for the mountains. I can paint one and I’m there,” Farrow said. “You know, with the anxiety and depression, it’s a part of being a combat veteran. But this is a real help for me.”

Farrow, along with eight other artists, submitted artwork in variety of media including, but not limited to, written word, painting and sculpture.

Pieces from Michael Aschenbrenner’s “Damaged Bone Series” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art will also be on display at the Call to Arts exhibit.

Josh Rider, director of Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services, believes that the exhibit is valuable to both veterans and civilians.

“It is an outlet for the veteran,” Rider said, “but (also) a learning experience for the civilian to be able to start to grasp the experiences and sacrifices these men and women have made to ensure our freedoms.”

Moema Furtado, Uumbaji Gallery curator, had previously curated a similar exhibit while working with the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center. Furtado thought Kent State could benefit from one of its own.

“This exhibit reinforces my belief that art is powerful,” Furtado said. “Each artist found a different medium to express their interests and concerns.”

The exhibit will be open to the public until Dec. 1 and is free for all. For more information on the Uumbaji Gallery, visit http://www.kent.edu/pas/uumbaji.

Contact Gael Reyes at [email protected]