New Joplin Art Exhibit Gives Insight To A Veteran’s Experience at Home and on the Battlefield

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Most of us can only imagine what it’s like to be in combat. But a new Joplin art display is designed to transport viewers right to the battlefield.

One of the main purposes of an art exhibit is to make viewers think, in this case about what it’s like to be in a war. Such is the case with “At Ease,” now on display inside the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin.

“It gives you insight into what combat’s like or what veterans face when they return home, so I definitely think it’s worth seeing and not all of it, it’s a heavier show, it’s an emotional show. It’s definitely accessible for all ages and it can be a conversation starter in the community for veterans issues,” says Aaron Skapik.

While most of the display consists of paintings, there are other art forms including sculpture and photographs. It took a year-and-a-half of work on the part of artist and military veteran, Aaron Skapik, to assemble the collection. He hopes the display is moving for both veterans and civilians. And leads to dialogue, which hopefully leads to answers.

“And that’s the point of the show, that’s the reason I wanted to have a veterans art exhibit come to Joplin is to kind draw attention to veterans’ issues. Veterans face homelessness, mental issues when they come back from war with trauma, so I just want to draw attention to those issues and the high suicide rate amongst veterans in the military community,” says Skapik.

The display runs through the first week in October.

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