Back in the World: Portraits of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans

James Gill (American, b. 1955), Will Williams (De Forest), Army Staff Sergeant, 25th Infantry Division, 1966–67, silver-halide print, 40 x 30 in. Wisconsin Public Television
Back in the World: Portraits of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans will be on display at the Chazen from October 31 to January 3, 2010. This exhibit is comprised of nearly 30 large-format color portrait photographs. As part of its Wisconsin Stories project, Wisconsin Public Television has produced documentaries about Wisconsin veterans’ experiences in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. During production of the Vietnam project (to air in 2010), photographer James Gill took portraits of the veterans who participated in the documentary as a tribute to their service. These photographs provide insight into the veterans’ memories and experiences, which they carry long after the war ends. The scale and presence of the images, combined with brief excerpts of interviews with their subjects, place them in a long tradition of art that delivers a powerful social message.

Events happening in conjuction with the exhibit include
• Panel Discussion and Reception, Wednesday November 11 (Veterans Day)
--6:00 p.m. Opening remarks by photographer James Gill, followed by a panel discussion with Vietnam veterans George Banda (Milwaukee) combat medic, 101st Airborne Div.; Bruce Jensen (West Allis), gunners mate, USS Stone County, Mobile Riverine Force; James Kurtz (Middleton), platoon leader, 1st Infantry Div.; Rev. Ray Stubbe (Wauwatosa), Navy chaplain, Siege of Khe Sanh; Willie Williams (De Forest), staff sergeant, 25th Infantry Div. Moderated by Mik Derks, Producer, Wisconsin Public Television
--7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Reception with refreshments and a cash bar

• Gallery Talk with photographer James Gill, Thursday November 19, 7:00 p.m.