I love Wisconsin during spring, summer and fall. Not so much during winter. Winter blues get the best of me. I have low energy when it is cold and it has been a struggle for me even to paint during last few weeks. In order to wake up from this winter apathy I decided to attend as many art-related events in La Crosse as possible. As soon as I surround myself with art and creative people, I feel better.
La Crosse offers a vibrant art scene. During last two weeks there were 6 different art opening receptions. Several new plays are showing in local theaters. Cold weather did not prevent art patrons and friends to attend these events. All events have been attended by a lot of art enthusiasts. I was particularly impressed by James Gill’s “Back in the World: Portraits of Wisconsin Vietnam War Veterans. ” This photographic exhibit runs at the Pump House regional Arts Center at 119 King Street, in La Crosse from January 27 through March 13, 2010. Especially touching are the short stories each veteran said about his/her experience. Those stories are mounted next to each photograph. It is hard to hold back tears when you read these words and then look at the photographed eyes.
If you can not plan a trip to La Crosse to see this wonderful exhibit be sure to check the following link: http://lzlambeau.org/portraits.cfm. You may watch the interviews with the featured Veterans recorded for the Wisconsin Public Television documentary Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories. The documentary will be released in May.
In the conjunction with the exhibition, the Pump House has produced 5,000 Pounds: Seven Soldiers’ Stories, a new play detailing the lives and toils of seven soldiers in Vietnam in 1968. I plan to see it on Thursday, February 11. For more information please check: http://www.thepumphouse.org.