The Josephine Herrick Project is a War Baby born in 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In honor of the organization’s 75th anniversary, we have published the first collection of Herrick’s WWII photographs: Portraits of Navy Day, October 29, 1945 aboard the USS Helena. These never-before seen portraits have been scanned from negatives by JHP Director of Photography, Krista Kennell, and introduced by JHP board member Lt. Cdr. (Ret) Brett Morash, PhD. The book is available for purchase on our website and supports JHP photography programs in 26 NYC communities, including veteran programs at the VA Hospitals, Vet Centers, St. Francis College, and at veteran homes in Brooklyn through Services for the Underserved.
Veterans, then and now, are thrilled to connect to each other and their larger community through the visual art of photography. This book documents Josephine Herrick’s dream come true, connecting the public with images of men who serve their country with pride and joy.
As a volunteer organization serving veterans for nearly seventy-five years, I wanted to report on something dear to JHP for Veterans Day so I picked up the phone and called Sheridan Dean. One of our goals is to train veterans to teach our veteran programs. Sheridan, after taking two programs at the Brooklyn VA taught by Camille Tokerud, assisted her in teaching a program at the Genesis House in Brooklyn, and now he is co-teaching with Linda Kessler at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. He said “what is rewarding is that there are always a couple of veterans in each class who, like me, get hooked on photography.”
During his military service, Sheridan attended aviation school and worked on aircraft structural repair. Returning home to Brooklyn, he had a career with the telephone company. Now, in retirement, he is happy to document events like yesterday’s at Brooklyn Borough Hall: Eric Adams, Borough President, and Commissioner of Veteran Affairs, Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General US Army Ret. spoke about housing and jobs for veterans. The transit Authority and the NYC Police Department are both hiring, but Sheridan said he is happy in retirement, teaching JHP programs and doing photography. His goal is to make each photograph museum quality.
JHP honored the Commissioner on October 19th at our annual benefit auction. She is such a fabulous speaker; our guests were ready to enlist! Sheridan said that he is proud of her as a veteran, especially her energy and her positivity. She has made great strides in eradicating veteran homelessness in NYC and in creating jobs for veterans. When I asked what else she could do to help NYC veterans, Sheridan liked the idea of a Museum for veteran’s art.
Last Veteran’s Day, Sheridan and I and a few others spoke about the JHP programs to veterans at St. Francis College. When I asked about his Veteran’s Day agenda for this year, he said he’d be at the Brooklyn Mall: Applebee’s, Red Lobster and Olive Garden providing free dining for Veterans. He also has a dinner to attend on Long Island, hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
Josephine Herrick was first known for her work with New York City debutants, but her legacy in photography is also tied to her work with veterans returning home from war in need of healing, holistic healing.
In honor of our water-based warriors of the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, New York City celebrates with its 27th annual Fleet Week. During this week span of time, citizens of NY and the tri-state area are invited to board and tour ships docked in Manhattan and Staten Island for just this purpose. This year, photographers Krista Kennell and Camille Tokerud from the JHP family were invited to capture moments of sailors and supporters as they experienced a small taste of the world our soldiers live within.
Fleet Week began in 1935 and is a tradition that continues to excite major cities. We are honored to have the opportunity to walk a bit in the shoes of our namesake. And though Fleet Week has passed, we continue to honor our soldiers and continue the commitment and legacy of bringing photography programs to veterans.
Listen to a great radio interview about our Veteran Photography Programs.
Camille Tokerud, professional photographer and JHP Volunteer Photographer was interviewed by Eric Dehm, host and producer of the Morning Wake-Up Call on WRHU-FM, Hemstead, NY about JHP’s Veteran programs. It’s a great segment that shows how “the power of photography” has made a d.ifference in the lives of the Brooklyn VA Hospital Veterans
Here’s the link to the Morning Wake-Up Call on WRHU-FM, Hemstead, NY Video:
NBC Today Show “Hope to it” segment on The Josephine Herrick Project and our program at the Brooklyn VA was featured this morning! It’s a wonderful segment that illustrates how “the power of photography” can make a differnce in the lives of Veterans and other underserved populations.
Special thanks to the NBC Today Show for doing and amazing piece on JHP, to Matt Sweetwood for leading the charge in “sharing our story” across many platforms, to professional photographer and instructor for this program Camille Tokerud, to Beryl Brenner, recreation & creative arts therapist at the VA and to Maureen McNeil, our Executive Director who puts her heart and soul into creating and implementing programs and making sure our organization continues to help others through the power of photograhy.
RTP has been partnering with veterans since WWII. The veterans administration believes that as a form of rehabilitation, art therapy promotes social skills and cognitive and physical functioning. Today RTP provides free photography classes to veterans at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn taught by professional photographer, Camille Tokerud. The course acquaints students with the basics of capturing imagaes through hands-on work with a digital camera. Weekly engaging and diverse theories include topics such as portrait, still life, architecture, landscape, photojournalism and fine art photography. During shooting assignments, students learn about photographic techniques and equipment including focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO exposure and light inside and outside.
Beryl Brenner, recreation & creative arts therapist at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn, was instrumental in making the program happen this year. The VA Hospital in Brooklyn has a long history with RTP. Our first program at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn started in 1941! Read more