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Insignias of Fort Ord: Art in Everyday Military Life

February 11 - April 18, 2016

 

As part of the Monterey Museum of Art's commitment to serving and engaging the Military and Veteran community, the museum is collaborating on an exciting and meaningful multi-part project featuring Veteran voices and artwork with artist Enid Baxter Ryce, Chair of the Cinematic Arts and Technology Department at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), as artist-in-residence. (right: Enid Baxter Ryce, John, 2016, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist)

Monterey Museum of Art is presenting the art exhibition, Insignias of Fort Ord: Art in Everyday Military Life, created by artist Enid Baxter Ryce, in collaboration with the Veterans Transition Center of Marina (VTC), CSUMB students and staff members to explore the art and symbolism of this unique place.

The Insignias featured in the exhibition are related to Fort Ord in various ways. They are the insignias meaningful those who served here, those who live here now at the VTC, and those who work at CSUMB, building Fort Ord's transformation from swords to ploughshares.

Insignias of Fort Ord includes original works by members of the VTC; artworks by members of the CSUMB community; student films of Veteran oral histories and Professor Ryce's original artwork. An interactive area invites Museum visitors to create and leave personal insignias that say something about their life, family, or community.

As part of the process of creating this exhibition, Professor Ryce and her students are collecting stories from local veterans for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress (VHP). The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand remembrances of U.S. war veterans from World War I through the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Completely reliant on the voluntary participation of people around the country interviewing the veterans in their lives and communities, the Project, now 15 years old, holds more than 99,000 individual stories. loc.gov/vets/ or (888) 371-5848.

There is a range of programming associated with this exhibition, including:

February 25: Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress representatives Megan Harris and Rachel Mears spoke about the VHP at Monterey Museum of Art?Pacific Street
 
February 27: Presentation by Dr. Ilene R. Feinman, Professor of Democratic Cultures and Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU Monterey Bay on Race, Gender, Class and the Military at Monterey Museum of Art?Pacific Street
 
March 7: Presentation with Tomas Summers Sandoval, associate professor of history and Chicana/o~Latina/o studies at Pomona College on the Invisible History of the Vietnam War in Mexican America at the University Center Ballroom at CSU Monterey Bay
 
April 2: Directors Dialogue: Insignias of Fort Ord with MMA Artist in Residence and CSUMB Professor Enid Baxter Ryce and MMA Executive Director Charlotte Eyerman, Ph.D. at Monterey Museum of Art?Pacific Street
 
May 6: Screening of In Country, a documentary about Vietnam War re-enactments co-directed by Meghan O'Hara and Mike Attie at the MIIS Irvine Auditorium

Visit montereyart.org to register for these events and for more information.

The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) began collaborating on an art therapy program with the Veteran's Transition Center (VTC) in spring 2015. Currently, the VTC visits MMA once per month to engage in hands-on art activities and gallery explorations with volunteer MMA Docents, intended to introduce Veterans to the healing power of art.

Insignias of Fort Ord: Art in Everyday Military Life runs February 11 through April 18, 2016 at the Monterey Museum of Art?Pacific Street.

 

Above: Enid Baxter Ryce, Megan, 2016, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist)

 

Wall text from the exhibition

The current and former military residents of the historic Fort Ord military base hold a diverse array of insignias, or distinguished marks, of military rank. These insignias, and many murals throughout the ruins of the base created by soldiers, are testimonies to Fort Ord's rich artistic legacy. Artist-in-residence Enid Baxter Ryce created this exhibition in collaboration with the Veterans Transition Center of Marina (VTC), California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students and staff members to explore the art and symbolism of this unique place.
 
The Insignias featured in the exhibition are related to Fort Ord in various ways. They are the insignia meaningful those who served here, those who live here now at the VTC, and those who work at CSUMB, building Fort Ord's transformation from swords to ploughshares.
 
Insignias of Fort Ord includes original works by members of the VTC; artworks by members of the CSUMB community; student films of Veteran oral histories and Ryce's original artwork. An interactive area invites Museum visitors to create and leave personal insignias that say something about their life, family, or community.
 
Professor Ryce and her students are also collecting stories from local veterans for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress (VHP). The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand remembrances of America's war veterans from World War I through the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Completely reliant on the voluntary participation of people around the country interviewing the veterans in their lives and communities, the Project, now 15 years old, holds more than 99,000 individual stories.
 
The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) began collaborating on an art therapy program with the VTC in spring 2015. Currently, the VTC visits MMA once per month to engage in hands-on art activities and gallery explorations with volunteer MMA Docents, intended to introduce Veterans to the healing power of art.
 
 
Fort Ord: A Timeline
 
Fort Ord occupies roughly 28,000 acres. Originally called Camp Gigling during the end of the Civil War, Fort Ord's expansion has its roots in the First World War, and was part of a massive expansion of the U.S. Armed Forces. Seaside and The Monterey Peninsula hook around to its south, Marina to its north and Salinas to the east. To the west is the Monterey Bay sanctuary.
 
1916: Fort Ord has 200,000 residents.
 
1933: Faced with swelling from 200,000 regulars in 1916 to 2 million draftees in a space of two years, the Army purchases immense tracts of land across the nation, including the 15,000 acre Gigling Reservation that later becomes Fort Ord.
 
August 1940: In a response to the growing threat of war, Fort Ord swells from 15,000 to 20,000 acres. To the north and south, the cities of Marina and Seaside spring up to meet the base's increasing housing and service needs.
1940-75: An estimated 1.5 million young men and women are trained at Fort Ord. 
 
1950s: Fort Ord is repurposed as a training facility, a role it will occupy for the next three decades. The base becomes the first racially integrated Army base.
 
1954-75: Fort Ord's importance increases dramatically during the long years of the Vietnam War when it becomes the chief training center.  
 
1994: The base is officially closed as part of the Base Relocation and Closure Act.
 
1995: Part of the former base became California State University, Monterey Bay.
 

(above: Enid Baxter Ryce, Walter, 2016, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist)




Checklist selections for the exhibition

Walter. Oil on Canvas. 46" x 46" 2016. Enid Baxter Ryce, 2016.
 
Hiro. Oil on Canvas. 46" x 60", Enid Baxter Ryce, 2016.
 
Meghan. Oil on Canvas. 46" x 60" Enid Baxter Ryce, 2016.
 
John. Oil on Canvas. 46" x 46" Enid Baxter Ryce, 2016
 
Photographs from Planet Ord. Enid Baxter Ryce 2009- 2016.
 
A series of 6 giclee prints from photographs. 12" x 12" each print. Enid Baxter Ryce, 2016.
 
Seabees. Anonymous. Giclee print of a drawing, 16 x 12, 2015
'Navy. "Can Do."'
 
1/5 (m) INF. Sean Cope. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"87-88. (Medic)"
 
HHC 1/5 (m) INF Warrior Base. Sean Cope. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"87-88. "
 
Hospital Corpsman, USN. D. Mitchell. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"I learned a lot about the human body that people take for granted."
 
USAREUR Headquarters. Anonymous. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"They used to land helicopters for general staff next to my barracks. European Command, 1945-1989."
 
2nd Infantry Division. Jim R. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"Second to None! A one year lesson in courage."
 
Fleet Marine Force Corpsman. A. Ahuna. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"7 1/2 years in the military with the last 5 ? back to back tours with the Marines."
 
Corpsman. United States Navy. D. Mitchell. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"Feeling fear when it was to told to me that the Navy Corpsman were assigned to the Marines."
 
25th Infantry Division. E Company, 65th Engineers. Richard Dooley. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015."This patch represents the best friend I have ever had or could hope to have."
 
American Forces Network , "Murphy Dee." Giclee print of a drawing 12 x 16, 2015.
"Murphy Dee" was a DJ at the Yokota Air Base, Japan '07-'10. She kept her DJ name through her deployment to Afghanistan.
 
U.S. Air Force. Persian Gulf. Susan Stafford. Giclee print of a drawing 12 x 16, 2015.
"One Nation because of you."
 
Headquarters Headquarters Command. (this is not an error the word should repeat). Clarence Esteen. Giclee print of a drawing 12 x 16, 2015.
 
3rd Armored Division. Will Bailey. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
"Ray Barracks - Freidberg, W. Germany."
 
United States Marine Corps. Manny Soro. Giclee print of a drawing 16 x 12, 2015.
 
45th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Jennifer Benge. Giclee print of a watercolor. 12 x 12, 2015.
 
318th Army Airforces Flying Training Detachment. Jennifer Benge. Giclee print of a watercolor. 16 x 12, 2015.
 
U.S.S. Windham Bay (CVE -92). Jennifer Benge. Giclee print of a watercolor. 16 x 12, 2015.

 

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