'Through a Soldier's Eyes': New Waterworks exhibits

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2011

Waterworks Visual Arts Center has three new exhibits opening Aug. 20 and running through Nov. 19.
“Through a Soldier’s Eyes: Remembering Vietnam” is a collaborative project between the Rowan Public Library and Waterworks Visual Arts Center.
This exhibition honors and illustrates the Vietnam experience of local servicemen and women through a powerful and creative assemblage of selected artifacts, photographs, and oral histories gathered over the last 12 months, as well as lithographs, paintings, and woodblock prints from two visual artists, Thomas L. Floyd (Tecumseh, NE) and Mona Wu (Winston-Salem).
During the 13-week exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to view this extraordinary display of photographs and works of art, listen to recorded stories, and interact/react with the exhibition at three interactive stations:
• Message to a Hero – write a message or add a remembrance in honor of a special soldier(s);
• Hero’s Rock – write the name of a fallen hero on a commemorative rock and place it in the heart-shaped memorial;
• Record Your Story – veterans of all wars are encouraged to record their personal stories in a specially-designed recording booth. All collected photographs and stories will be archived and kept in the Edith M. Clark History Room at the main branch of the Rowan Public Library. The Hero’s Rock Memorial will be moved following the exhibition and placed on permanent display in the South Rowan Library Garden.
Tom Floyd is a multimedia graphic artist and the creator of Captain Spectre, a crime-fighting superhero graphic novel character. Tom grew up with a pen and pencil in hand, creating his own cartoons. His strongest influences were his dad and the characters from comics, movies, novels, and television who were all weekly visitors to his world. “The lessons learned when we are young leave the strongest impression. Even the youngest viewer quickly learns about good guys and bad guys. Honor, duty, and integrity were common themes interwoven with action and adventure. My art carries on the tradition of storytelling. My time in Vietnam was a meeting of principles and reality, a chance to prove my worth. His artwork, he says, “explores the feelings and emotions that arose from those experiences.”
Steeped in Chinese traditional art while growing up in China, Winston-Salem artist Mona Wu immigrated to the United States in 1970. She received her B.A. in art history from Salem College that opened the door to Western art for her. Mona uses woodcut relief, the traditional medium used by her Chinese ancestors for reproducing texts and illustrations. Her goal is to seamlessly combine her educational, spiritual, and technical elements, both Eastern and Western, into a body of work which reflects her life experience – living in the West but never forgetting her Eastern roots.
The free opening reception for these exhibits is Friday, August 26, from 6-8 pm. Light refreshments will be served
Waterworks Visual Arts Center is located at 123 E. Liberty Street. Gallery hours are: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-7 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, please call 704-636-1882 or visit www.waterworks.org