Exhibition - Badge of Honor

Arts and Entertainment

January 25, 2017

From: Kennedy Heights Arts Center

Badge of Honor

Presented in partnership with PAR Projects
"Souls are more fragile than human flesh, sometimes they just never seem to heal."
Pulled from a 1992 episode of Murder She Wrote entitled Badge of Honor these words often remain accurate.

While it's easy to find conflict both overseas, as well as domestically often overlooked is the calm that surrounds these instances. These are the moments that will ring most important in this exhibition.

Coverage of the louder episodes within our domestic movements are easily discovered, but the joyous souls that remain painfully silent, yet proud, are often overlooked. While news outlets air footage of attacks our government carries out overseas, we rarely catch a glimpse into our local communities that stand strong and the foreign communities that aid our troops both instilling a certain level of comfort to those in need.

Primarily, this exhibition juxtaposes a number of foreign and domestic, conversation-worthy photographs in an attempt to address conditions of the present. A third component which integrates the sculptural form, in the way of repetitive use of toy soldiers, adds an additional layer to the conversation. Both large and small, human similarities will be highlighted throughout the space. Scale will also become a factor, especially as a few hidden features will be woven throughout the space.

The work of three artists Francis Hollenkamp (Cincinnati), Mike James (Cincinnati), and Raymond Thompson (Morgantown, WV)   will be brought to light in an attempt to subtly address the aforementioned topics throughout the gallery.

In photos selected for this exhibition, Mike James is able to present rarely seen vantage points. His work, captured during tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan give us a "different" look than what we're used to. Essentially, while stationed abroad, he took it upon himself to explore his new found communities and interact with cultures in ways that the American public rarely gets a glimpse of.

Raymond Thompson's work stems from the overarching narrative of social justice in addition to our country's overly-complex and often overly aggressive prison system and the affects both have on our nation's youth. While none of his work selected for this exhibition is considered heavy handed, stories from within his imagery is relatable to a large segment of our population.

Francis Hollenkamp rounds out the group with a more conceptual take on our unseen realities. Literally by the thousands, his arrangements of toy soldiers drum up thoughts of "strength in numbers" and "the power of organization." Still, because the size of an individual toy soldier pails in comparison to the human form, it's impossible not to also associate feelings of vulnerability and defenselessness within his work.

When this exhibition is woven together throughout the space of Kennedy Heights Arts Center, the hope is that viewers will find an appreciation for the emotions these artists are able to bring forward. The bigger goal is to compel guests to interact with one another about how certain aspects of Badge of Honor affects them personally. Conversation is encouraged.

Jonathan Sears, curator

Date: Jan. 28 March 5 2017

Opening: Thursday, Feb. 2, 6-8PM
Artist talk: Feb. 25, 5-6PM
Closing reception: Feb. 25, 6-9PM

Gallery Hours:
Tuesdays - Fridays, 10am 5pm
Saturdays, 11am 4pm

Kennedy Gallery
6546 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213

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