Campus gallery promotes respect for U.S. soldiers

The Northlight Gallery showcases a new exhibition titled “The End of War”, as homage to war veterans. (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Conigliari)

With Veterans Day just passing, and Saturday’s ASU football game taking a Salute to Service theme for U.S. troops, it is fitting that an art exhibition is currently on display on campus, promoting respect for those in the armed forces.

There are some hidden gems on ASU campus. There are live animals in the life sciences building, an observation deck on top of the tallest structure on campus and the secret garden, though a garden is hardly secret when one in every two people can pinpoint its location. There is, however, an obscure gem less unearthed than others: The Northlight Gallery.

“The End of War,” located in the Northlight Gallery,  exposes the after effects of war through photographed veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. If there was ever a time to check out the gallery, it is now.

Located in Matthews Hall on the corner of the Tyler and Forest malls, the Northlight Gallery is a small basement with just two bare rooms and an unplugged television. On Tuesday through Saturday afternoons, the doors to the gallery are propped opened to reveal art from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

“The End of War” may initially seem like a pacifist manifesto condoning all violence, but the gallery immediately refutes this idea with a sign posted upon walking inside.

It reads, “Through the artists’ images, ‘The End of War’ promotes a dialog about war and the resultant effects, not an argument of whether or not war is an inevitable part of the human experience.”

Ultimately, these images challenge the viewer to care more deeply and be more active in the pursuit of peace.

A handwritten notebook entry recounting a war veteran’s suicide will challenge the viewer to care more deeply for those who serve in the U.S. forces.

Young women surrender two years of their youth to serve. Over 1 million gay war veterans honorably served in the armed forces, while 14,000 were discharged due to their sexuality, according to the Out Serve Magazine website.

A particularly interesting wall has old newspapers from different war eras that are split in two groups. On the left are newspaper headlines that announce declarations of war, and on the right are newspaper headlines that announce peace. The juxtaposition of war and peace is deeply moving.

A Pottstown Mercury front page from Wednesday morning on Jan. 24, 1973 is blank except for the large block letters that read, “PEACE” with the sub header, “Thank God.”

This exhibition is timely for reasons relevant to all ASU students. The football game this Saturday is a Salute to Service game, a time to honor current active duty members and veterans of the armed forces.

To take this appreciation a step further, visit the Northlight Gallery to support art at ASU and to learn more about the trials and tribulations that result from war, and more fully appreciate our troops’ services.

“The End of War” exhibition will be showcased from Nov. 6 to Dec. 1.

 

Reach the reporter at jconigli@asu.edu