The Portland Art Museum hosted a summer event on June 16, 2016 celebrating military veterans, including sixty 8 x 10 photographs taken by nine veterans in the Josephine Herrick Project program at the Portland Vet Center. Nine combat veterans, from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, attended the program at the Vet Center over six Saturdays, from April 2 to May 7th. All printing was paid for by the JHP volunteer photographers. This was the first time JHP has had an active presence in the Northwest and the program was well received.
Jack Kane, a US Army veteran who learned photography during his service in Germany, recently retired from the transportation industry and approached Maureen McNeil, Executive Director of JHP, about volunteering with veterans and attended a week long training in NYC in the fall of 2015. McNeil introduced him to NYC veteran programs and issues, the JHP staff, photographers and participants. They visited Jean Cooney at the Bronx VA Hospital, Francisca Nazario at the Queens Vet Center, and Brett Morash, JHP Board member, at Services for the Underserved.
In Portland, Jack recruited volunteers who attended training sessions with JHP Program Director Afiya Williams over conference call and skype. Doug Huegli was the primary instructor with 20 plus years of teaching photography at the high school level and his part time work as a commercial photographer. Ellen Lodine, a retired high school teacher, was assisted. Randy Carpenter, an avid amateur photographer also assisted in a coaching role. Kane attended each session and presented the “introduction” lesson. Rosemary Knapp continues to assist by contacting organizations interesting in hosting public showings of the veteran’s photography.
Photograph by: George (participant)
“JHP recently received a planning grant to grow veteran programs in upstate New York,” said McNeil. “Working with a talented businessman and veteran Jack Kane made the planning and execution of the long distance program relatively easy to maintain the JHP brand and quality of our programming. I am sorry that we did not have travel funding in place to attend the Portland Museum of Art opening.”
Photograph by: Chris (participant)
Thank you Jack Kane, The Portland Vet Center, The Portland Museum of art, all the volunteers and participants. Several days after the event ended, Kane was contacted by the Portland Art Museum and the JHP veteran programs were invited to attend the event again in 2017.
Photograph by: Art (participant)