April 4 - 7, 2018
Opening Reception: April 6, 6-8pm
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. As an artist, a health care professional, and a veteran, it is my responsibility to develop a dialog about the extreme physical and psychological transformations military service members undergo throughout their careers. As a former Combat Medic in the United States Army, I witnessed these transformations firsthand as they manifested in the psyche of fellow soldiers, as well as in myself. In the United States only 1% of the population serves in the armed forces, therefore my art practice continues to be focused on recreating the cause and effects of trauma from war. For example, in the self-portrait titled, Silhouette, which I photographed while deployed to Iraq is a black and white image of myself holding a cutout of a target practice silhouette. This picture in particular speaks about the duality of soldiers being both a target and targeting combatants in a conflict zone. Drawing upon my 7 years of experience treating military service members, my art practice aims to expand the conscience of my audience to the physical and psychological transformations that may result from experiencing or witnessing life-threatening events. It is important for us to have the ability to recognize how trauma can manifest in the human psyche given the volatility our contemporary world. My mission is to create meaningful visual art that allows my audience to develop an authentic understanding and compassion for their fellow Americans who may be dealing with a mental health condition like PTSD.