Soldiers’ artwork honored in Michigan City exhibit
By Bob Kostanczuk Post-Tribune correspondent October 31, 2013 10:38AM
LaPorte resident Donna Perdue is a Marine veteran who will display a large-scale portrait piece titled "Amani/My Culture," pictured above, at a new exhibit at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City. "Citizen-Soldier-Citizen" opens Nov. 2 and continues through Feb. 9. | Photo provided
If you go
Where: Hyndman Gallery at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W. 2nd St., Michigan City
When: Saturday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Feb. 9. Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Admission: A $3 per-person donation is appreciated.
Special note: A free opening reception for “Citizen-Soldier-Citizen” is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Lubeznik Center. The center will partner with the Peace Paper Project at this event for “an interactive demonstration of how to shred unserviceable soldiers’ uniforms, pulp the fibers, and transform the mixture into paper and artwork,” according to promotional material.
More details: www.lubeznikcenter.org or call 874-4900
Updated: December 2, 2013 12:02PM
A new exhibit in Michigan City illuminates the power of art in the lives of those who fought for our country.
The exhibit likewise recognizes their often-times arduous transition back into society.
“Citizen-Soldier-Citizen” at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts showcases how soldiers utilize the arts as a healing tool and a means to communicate what they’ve been through.
In the case of one artist from LaPorte who is represented in the exhibit, the very fabric of armed-forces uniforms has been incorporated into her large piece, titled “Amani/My Culture.”
Donna Perdue, who spent 22 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, used a compilation of military uniforms that were cut, pulped and molded into paper.
The result is a captivating image of a woman whom Perdue photographed while stationed as a joint-task-force media coordinator in Djibouti, Africa.
With ink-treated microfibers as prime components, the intense portrait is about 5 feet high and 8 feet wide.
During her time as a media official in the eastern part of Africa, Perdue happened to catch a glance of the person who would become the focal point of her ambitious image.
“I caught this woman from afar, and she just was stunningly beautiful; I snapped a photo of her,” Perdue, 47, recalled in a recent phone interview. “She was working there with a mission group. She spoke English. She was from Iran.”
The woman, named Amani, expressed a desire for better understanding of her culture on the part of the United States.
Perdue ended up working on her unique portrait of Amani in Key West, Fla. — making use of a bedsheet during the process.
“Amani/My Culture” is a highlight of “Citizen-Soldier-Citizen,” which opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 9, displaying contemporary works by military veterans.
Various mediums are being rolled out — from painting to clay, from film to glass.
A gunnery sergeant in the Marines, Perdue showed off other skills in the armed forces, aside from media and photography talents.
“I also taught martial arts while I was in the Marine Corps,” the LaPorte resident said. “My son (Joshua) is now serving in the Marines.”
Perdue and her husband own Aradise, a marketing and web design firm in Northwest Indiana.
Having required multiple steps to bring it to completion, Perdue’s “Amani/My Culture” required everything from a spray bottle to silk screen.
“That started with a photograph,” noted Tony Comegys, Perdue’s husband. “I think my wife is a great artist.”
Comegys believes art has had a therapeutic benefit for his wife, who handled myriad duties in her service to the country, including the control of classified materials.
A complementary aspect of “Citizen-Soldier-Citizen” and Veterans Day on Nov. 11 will be the veterans “Honor Wall” hosted by the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
A press release from the center indicates that the wall encompasses “tributes and memorials” for Northwest Indiana veterans “from all branches of service.”
The Honor Wall will remain up during the engagement of “Citizen-Soldier-Citizen.”
Visit www.lubeznikcenter.org/honorwall for more information.