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Three Vietnam veterans will display art in Mt. Pleasant

6-13-2019

 

Mt. Pleasant—Three artists who served in the Vietnam War, including Sanpete County’s very own Carl Purcell, bring their individual perspectives about the war and the country itself to an art exhibit on display at Hub City Gallery between June 14 and August 1.

The Hub City Gallery is located on the second floor of Mt. Pleasant City Hall, 115 W. Main Street.

Works included in the exhibit, entitled “Vietnam Veterans: Art Beyond Combat,” show images of war, images of peace and images of healing, stated Lisa Potter of The North Sanpete Arts Council in a press release. The artists served during a time of uncertainty, protest, and devastation, and each of them has a different perspective on returning to their lives and resolving feelings of unrest. Art serves each of them in a different way, and each has a different story to tell.

The three featured artists include: Carl Purcell is a Professor Emeritus at Snow College, where he has taught art for over 30 years. He served as an interrogator for the Air Force while in Vietnam. The fatalistic views of the North Vietnamese soldiers perplexed him, so when he returned home he chose to focus on moving forward with his art and his life. His paintings of rural barns, sheds and fences reflect the balance between future promises and forgotten dreams, while a lifelong interest in geology allows him to not only see, but to hear the rhythms of the earth through centuries of strata.

Dan Maynard only started to take his art seriously after his wife encouraged him. Although he initially focused on the people and landscapes of the Western U.S., he eventually began drawing scenes of the combat he experienced in Vietnam. When drawing those scenes, he can hear, see, and even taste the combat as he remembers it. His works don’t glorify or beautify the fighting, but illustrates it in all of its gritty realism.

John Steele, like many soldiers, documented his time in Vietnam through a camera. But only later in life did he begin to pursue photography as art, an interest sparked by wild horses. Eventually he returned to Vietnam, and during his four visits came to an understanding of the country as well as his own personal feelings about the war.

The Art Beyond Combat exhibition is curated by KUED. The Traveling Exhibition Program is a statewide service of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. For more information, visit arts.utah.gov/things-traveling-exhibitions.

The Traveling Exhibition Program is funded by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums and, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.