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summerart2018: Artist's Statement

Impressions of the Civil War in the West -- June 8 - August 31, 2018

Calendar of Events

Opening Reception
Friday, June 8
2nd floor of library
6 PM

Featuring remarks by artist Dan Woodward.

"Unleashing the Wolf: General Order No. 11 and Civil War on the Western Border."
Thursday, June 14
2nd floor of library
7 PM

A lecture by Dr. Ann M. Raab, adjunct professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

"Civil War Across the Ozarks"
Friday, June 22
2nd floor of library
7 PM

A lecture by John Bradbury of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

"Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?"
Friday, July 13
2nd floor of library
7 PM

A lecture by Civil War historian George Hoemann.

"The Human Dimension of War: Lessons and Insights of Local Civil War History Taught at the U.S. Army Engineer School"
Friday, July 20
2nd floor of library
7 PM

Civil War military history by Fort Leonard Wood USAES Command historian Florian Waitl.

"Their Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Storytelling"
Friday, July 27
2nd floor of library
7 PM

Carole Shelton, author and retired educator, will entertain audiences through researched and crafted historical first-person portrayals of women.

“The Changing Role of Women during the American Civil War”
Friday, August 3
2nd floor of library
7 PM

A lecture by historical administrator and interpreter Connie Grisier.

Closing Reception
Friday, August 24
2nd floor of library
6 PM

Featuring remarks by artist Dan Woodward.

 

Artist's Statement by Dan Woodward

When I began this “Impressions of the Civil War in the West” project in 2010, in anticipation of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, my goal was to highlight the major events during the Civil War in Missouri. I felt passionate about this having been a soldier myself who fought in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne Division, 100 years after the Civil War, and that it was necessary, since the Western region of the United States is a part of the war about which not as much is generally known.

I feel a kinship with the subjects in the paintings and their stories. And, as an artist, I needed to look through my own eyes in order to sincerely paint the real characters of the people in the works hanging before you. For example, I painted “The Letter Home,” remembering how a letter from home was the most vital lift for a soldier’s morale and a connection with what we considered the “real” world. And as an artist, I’m always searching to capture that universal connection – the kind of symbolism that holds true across distance and time. In this collection I’ve striven for those important shared human connections of understanding that might weld our world closer together.

The exhibit has grown much larger since it began when it depicted only the state of Missouri. After many discussions with historians, historical societies in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico, and traveling to far-reaching official reenactments, the collection now tells the story of the “Trans-Mississippi Theater” – that part of the Civil War action stretching from St. Louis, Missouri to Picacho Pass near Tucson, Arizona.

This collection of art is a labor of love for my region and beyond and inspired by many dedicated people across Missouri and the West and to whom I am exceptionally grateful. I hope you will walk away from this exhibit with a greater understanding of the Civil War in the West – a part of the war that may surprise you as much as it did me.

 

More of Mr. Woodward's work can be seen online at Woodward Art Studio.