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Cardinal Stritch Presents 'The Face of War'

Art Preview

Apr. 26, 2011
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"Instead of looking through a rifle sight, they looked through the lens of a camera." The eyes behind the lens belong to Vietnam combat photographers in this poignant quote from Claire Odishoo, director of Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery at Cardinal Stritch University. The university's upcoming exhibition "The Face of War: Vietnam Combat Photographers" recalls the images that brought the controversial conflict into America's homes during the 1960s.

"The Face of War," which runs May 6-July 31, highlights the brief career of photographer Robert Ellison, who died from enemy fire in Khe Sanh during a lengthy assignment in Vietnam. A brave 23-year-old, Ellison achieved fame with Newsweek and Time magazine covers, including the posthumous cover for the Newsweek of March 18, 1968.

On display are about 40 of Ellison's photographs from the Vietnam War and civil-rights protests in Selma, Ala., loaned to the university by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Ellison's half-brother Russell Samuel Eaton III donated the photographs to the museum.

The balance of the exhibit consists of images drawn from the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO), which will display archived photos from this turbulent time. This evocative exhibition is a reminder that America is currently sending young adults to foreign shores to look through a rifle sight instead of a camera lens.

In memory of Robert Ellison's contribution to this fascinating art form, Odishoo says the university has created the Open Box Project. Students from multiple disciplines will respond to Ellison's memorabilia through art, dance, poetry, performance and writing. Eaton will attend the opening reception along with several DASPO photographers to relate their private war stories on Friday, May 6, 5-8 p.m. A closing reception features a lecture by Jeff Kollath from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Open Box Project performances 5-8 p.m. July 29.

Art Happenings

"Spring Artisan Fair"

Gallerie M at the InterContinental Hotel

139 E. Kilbourn Ave.

Eleven members of the Milwaukee Rep's artistic and administrative staff express their individual creativity at Gallerie M by presenting handmade jewelry, photographs, porcelain, wearable art and more noon-8 p.m. April 30.

"Westside Artwalk"

Harwood Avenue & 76th Street, Wauwatosa

Spend a spring weekend exploring art and special programming in the village of Wauwatosa 5-9 p.m. April 29 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 30.


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