Veterans in Focus: “Exploring the Milwaukee Community through Photography"
July 26-August 8, 2018

Exhibition Reception: Friday, August 3, 2018, 5:30-8pm (with a free Starry Nights concert beginning at 6:30pm*)

Celebrate the sights and sounds of summer with an exhibition of work from Zablocki VAMC Veterans Photography Group and a free outdoor Starry Nights concert featuring Milwaukee’s own WAMI award-winning all-female traditional country and Americana trio, the Whiskey Belles!

The Veterans Photography Group was offered through the Recreation Therapy program to Veterans receiving treatment in the HUD/VASH (Housing Urban Development/Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) and Mental Health programs. Participants in VA’s photography group learned how to use the techniques of photography such as lighting, framing, subject matter, and composition to help them capture images in the community. The group started off by taking pictures of the grounds of the VA and then went into the community to various places including: Washington Park, Kaszubes Park, Jones Island, Lake Front-South Shore, US Bank Building-Top Floor, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Some of the Veterans also included pictures of other images they captured on their own. 
 
Why Photography: The use of photography provided Veterans with mental and/or physical health disorders (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use Disorder/Addictions, Obesity, Chronic Pain, Social Isolation, etc.) to experience many therapeutic benefits including: increased knowledge and exploration of various community sites new to them; improved focus and attention; decreased stress, increased self-esteem and confidence, sense of personal accomplishment, decreased social isolation and improved social skills, and acquisition of healthy leisure skills. 

This exhibition is curated by Courtney Zeller, C.T.R.S. Certified Therapeutic Recreation & Brianna Mueller, Recreation Therapy Intern, with special thanks to Elmbrook Rotary for their support and to Anita Burgermeister and Tim Holte for their time as volunteers and for offering their art expertise. 

*All Starry Nights performances begin at 6:30pm in our Gerlach/Haack Outdoor Theater. Audiences are welcome to pack their picnic baskets and lawn chairs; food and beverage vendors will also be available onsite for each concert. Click here for more information about Starry Nights, or call our Box Office at 262-781-9520.