Those Who Serve ArtWise 2015 In Review


The Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan and more than 35 community partners launched in 2015 “ArtWise: A Community Cultural Arts Series.” ArtWise will be an annual art-focused event reflecting on a theme of broad community interest using a variety of art opportunities to present different viewpoints. In its inaugural year, ArtWise focused on Those Who Serve our country in the military and ran from 9/11 through Veterans Day, 2015.


2015 Goals

  • Provide an opportunity for thoughtful and intentional collaboration with programming and promotional partners
  • Honor Those Who Serve our country in the military
  • Engage our citizens and build community
  • Build Waukegan’s brand as an arts destination
  • Bring people to Waukegan
  • Elevate the profile of Waukegan


More than 35 programming and promotional partners participated

  • Alats Dance
  • Bowen Park Theatre Company
  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • City of Waukegan
  • City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce
  • Clockwise Theatre
  • College of Lake County
  • Comcast
  • Dandelion Gallery
  • Greater Waukegan Development Coalition
  • Green Town Tavern
  • Illinois Department of Employment Security
  • Job Center of Lake County
  • Karcher Artspace Lofts
  • Kids Rank
  • Lake County Chamber of Commerce
  • Lake County Board
  • Lake County Partners
  • Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
  • Naval Station Great Lakes
  • Three Brothers Theatre
  • Two Soldiers and a Marine
  • Undercroft Gallery
  • Urban Edge Gallery
  • Veterans Court of the 19th Judicial Circuit
  • Veterans History Project
  • Visit Lake County
  • War Dogs Making It Home
  • Waukegan High School JROTC
  • Waukegan Historical Society
  • Waukegan History Museum
  • Waukegan Main Street
  • Waukegan Park District
  • Waukegan Public Library
  • Waukegan Public Schools
  • Waukegan Township


Ryan Spencer Reed

The anchor exhibition for ArtWise 2015 was internationally-acclaimed photojournalist Ryan Spencer Reed's award-winning photographic and audio installation at Urban Edge gallery from 9/11 through Veterans Day. Reed was embedded with the 101st Airborne Band of Brothers through training, deployment to Afghanistan and the soldiers' return home. The photographs he took while embedded speak to the experiences of young soldiers when we send them to war on behalf of our country.

“My aim here is to bridge the gap of understanding between those who have been through war and those who haven’t. It is about raising the level of debate that our veterans need all the help we can offer them when they return home to identify avenues to a life of fulfilling purpose after combat.”

Reed's project spans two and a half years of documentation of one Army battalion – the Band of Brothers. In the aggregate, 61 images convey, myth, reality, and glimpse into the scope the idea of enduring freedom.

Sounds of war, captured audio by the artist, bombard at a low-grade whisper where specific signals are nearly indistinguishable amidst the fog of war.

The body of work was unveiled at ArtPrize 2014 in the Grand Rapids Art Museum and was was selected by the public as one of the top finalists out of 1,536 entries. The same body of work was recognized by Pictures of the Year International for World Understanding. In addition, Reed was voted the winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Public Award 2015 by a wide margin. He was one of 50 photographers from around the globe in the running out of 1,689 entries and one of only two from the United States.

Nearly 5,000 visitors came to Urban Edge gallery to experience Ryan Spencer Reed's powerful exhibit during the two-month ArtWise series

ComplEmentary Art exhibitS

In addition to Ryan Spencer Reed's photography exhibit, complementary art exhibits took place at multiple venues featuring special guest artists, veterans and local artists.

Benjamin busch

"The Art In War” exhibition at the Waukegan Public Library featured photographs from Benjamin Busch, an acclaimed author, actor, artist and former commanding officer in the United States Marine Corps. The photographs were taken during Busch's deployments during the invasion, occupation and liberation of Iraq.

The photographs explore themes of war and memory by focusing on ephemera, from torn posters to bloodstained walls. It’s a gripping exercise in evoking a particular time and place, made all the more powerful by the photographer’s presence as an officer in the war he is documenting, blurring the line between observer and participant.

“I tried to record Iraq as its past was dissolving and its future uncertain. Photographs allow me to hold on to what I notice as I pass through time and place. This collection is a condensed rearrangement of my selected memory from 398 days in Iraq. It grants me the right to assign longevity to impermanent observations. I am often drawn to record fragile evidence and temporary debris for this reason. [They depict] moments that cannot occur again. What I photographed there has already been repainted, burned, or discarded. I only had one chance to take a photograph of any moment there. These are the chances that I took.” -Benjamin Busch


Veterans receiving care from the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) displayed their artwork in the lobby of the Lake County Courthouse from 9/11 through Veterans Day. The artwork displayed inspired a greater understanding of war and military experiences on our Veterans. Many Veterans create their artwork to cope with mental health issues, such as PTSD, anxiety and stress. Other Veterans use their artwork as a form of escape and are able to get lost in the art process.


Karcher ArtSpace Lofts displayed the oil paintings of Richard Laurent, an art instructor at Columbia College Chicago who served during the Vietnam War. Laurent was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reporting to the agency chief who was credited with the discovery of Russian missiles in Cuba during the Kennedy administration. His tour of duty involved monitoring the Ho Chi Minh Trail and various missile sites around the Middle East. Prior to leaving service, Laurent was assigned to assist the curator of the Pentagon Art Collection.

His painting of “Norm” depicts Norman Jefferson who served in the Army in the Persian Gulf campaign during WWII. He was one of a select number of American soldiers chosen to guard the motorcade containing Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt en route to the Yalta Conference.


In addition to Laurent’s paintings, the Karcher 405 Gallery also displayed work of resident and veteran artists representing the theme of “Through the Eyes of an Artist.” Featured artists included AB Blair, Angie Bongratz, Evan CR Ford. Evelyn Larsen-Ford, Richard Laurent, Eric Marston, Tom Pedersen, John Petersen, and Nicole Romany.


The Greater Waukegan Development Coalition hosted artwork from children of military families depicting veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and their rescued service dogs. Through the hands of children, based on photographs taken of the actual veterans and their service dogs, featured childrens' drawings showing how our beloved heroes are coping with daily life post deployment.

Kids Rank provides military children a sense of stability through interactive group learning experiences. War Dogs Making It Home is a two-year program of service dog training and ongoing group support at no cost to the veteran. By pairing veterans with rescue dogs they help train to be their service dogs, they are able to better manage the invisible and lifelong challenges of PTSD and TBI.


The partnership between Kids Rank and War Dogs Making It Home drew attention to how lives are being saved right here at home, both human and canine.

Albert Klein

The Waukegan History Museum displayed a special exhibit from the collection of the Waukegan Historical Society’s archives. On special exhibit was the photography of Albert Klein. Klein, a graduate of Waukegan High School, learned the profession of photography from his father, Herman, who owned North Shore Studios at 4 N. Genesee Street.

During WWII, Klein was commissioned as a lieutenant and served in the US Army Signal Corps as a combat photographer. Klein served in North Africa directly under Colonel Darryl F. Zanuck, founder of movie studio Twentieth Century Fox. Two of the four Klein photographs on display pertained to the North African campaign. After the war, Klein returned to Waukegan and became the first photographer to be certified by the Northern Illinois Professional Photographer’s Association. He remained a commercial photographer in the city until 1965.


Dandelion Gallery featured the work of local artist Leisa Corbett—a painter and U.S. Army veteran who in her personal artwork explored gender roles in the military and the different ways men and woman are expected to look and behave in our society.


The “Tribute to Those Who Serve, Artist Collective” included the works of Dandelion Gallery artists Sandie Bacon, Tom Bartlett, Noreen Cashman, Leisa Corbett, Mary Neely, Bob Nonnemacher, Michelle Misenic-Patch, Peggy Raasch, Stitching Bevy, Skip Wiese.

VETERANS ART EXHIBIT at Undercroft Gallery

The Undercroft Gallery is a cooperative effort among Christ Episcopal Church, The Lake County Art League, and Lake County Arts Magazine. The Undercroft Gallery celebrated Veterans Day with a November show of art by military veterans and military art by others.

Russ Mahoney
Malcolm Layson

Theatrical Performances

All three of Waukegan’s professional theatre companies performed plays on the theme of “Those Who Serve.”

Bowen Park Theatre Company

Bowen Park Theatre Company performed two plays based on the events of September 11, 2001:

The Guys by Anne Nelson, Directed by Jason Clark. A play written soon after the terrible events of September 11. Nick, a New York Fire Department captain, is left with the task of delivering eulogies for the eight fallen firefighters who perished during the evacuation of the World Trade Center. Overpowered with emotion and unsure what to say, he secures the assistance of a journalist who helps him craft eulogies to honor not only his men who died, but also everyone who lost their lives that day.

The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, Directed by Jason Clark. This play was among the first major theatrical responses to September 11. Set on September 12, it concerns Ben, a man who worked at the World Trade Center but was away from the office during the attack, with his mistress, Abby. Expecting his family believes that he was killed in the towers’ collapse, Ben contemplates using the tragedy to run away and start a new life with his lover.


Soldier's Heart by Tammy Ryan, Directed by Doug McDade. Before heading off to war in Iraq in 2007, USMC Assistant Commander of Convoy Security Casey Johnson neatly organizes her life into a box of lists, envelopes and registration forms for her son’s activities. Nine months later, she returns psychologically paralyzed by PTSD, deeply haunted by the memories of what she had to do – and by what was done to her.

Playwright Tammy Ryan takes us through vivid re-enactments of the Iraqi conflict, ending her drama on a hopeful note even as she states that our Veterans deserve better.

Clockwise held audience talkbacks with playwright, director and cast.


Two Rooms by Lee Blessing, Directed by Caroline Beadle. A moving and poignant piece of modern drama about love, politics and war. Two Rooms was named the “best play of the year” by Time Magazine in 1988. Written by playwright Lee Blessing nearly 30 years ago, Two Rooms may be more relevant in 2015 than it was when it was first produced.

A civilian journalist is captured and held hostage by terrorists. The play tells a very personal story about how the isolation and loneliness of the hostage in a cell in Beirut, and the suffering of his wife, in her self-imposed isolation. Meanwhile, the media and the government attempt to deal with this dire situation.

WRiters series

The Waukegan Public Library’s “Those Who Serve” writers series brought three acclaimed authors to the library for book talks, signings, and Q&A sessions.

benjamin busch

Acclaimed writer, actor and artist who served as a commanding officer in the United States Marine Corps discussed his Debut-litzer Prize-winning memoir Dust to Dust at the Waukegan Public Library on September 17. The poetic memoir travels an elegiac path through Busch’s childhood, adolescence, and service in the Marine Corps, including his two deployments to Iraq.

Busch also led a Poetry Workshop at the Library on September 17 for poets and aspiring poets. Busch is the winner of the James Dickey Prize for poetry and his poems have been published widely.


Michael Pitre, who served as a communications officer in the United States Marine Corps through two tours of duty in Iraq, discussed his acclaimed novel, Fives and Twenty-Fives on October 8.

The novel has its roots in Pitre’s experience as a Marine stationed in Iraq, but it is not autobiographical in the sense that it is based on actual events that occurred during his deployments. Rather, Pitre approached his idea of writing a war novel by telling a uniquely fictional story inspired in part by the Iraqi interpreters who were essential to the Marines’ work. The “fives and twenty-fives” of the title are frequently the measure between life and death for a Marine, referring to the meterage sweeps for roadside bombs hidden in potholes.


Kirsten Holmstedt, writer and expert on female members of the armed forces, discussed her acclaimed book, Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq on November 5.

The book recounts the stories of twelve American women serving in Iraq, with a forward by Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Holmstedt’s book offers journalistic insight into the experiences of American servicewomen, featuring the stories of soldiers, military policewomen, and nurses. Winner of the Military Writer’s Society of America Founders Award and the American Authors Association Golden Quill Award, the book represents a look into the sometimes universal, sometimes unique challenges faced by service women.


Benjamin Busch presented his award-winning narrative short film BRIGHT at College of Lake County in Grayslake on September 16 and Waukegan Public Library on September 18. The screening was followed by remarks by writer, director, producer Busch with an audience Q&A.

“BRIGHT is a still-life painting brought to life. It is exquisitely shot, lovingly paced. The intense emotions play delicately on the faces of the actors, building to a subtle, well-earned catharsis. BRIGHT is art.” -Ed Burns, Writer/Executive Producer – HBO’s The Wire, and Generation Kill

Artist Talks

Visiting guest artists gave a number of educational talks at various venues targeted to specific audiences across the Lake County community, including:

  • "A Conversation with Ryan Spencer Reed" at College of Lake County on September 3. Reed previewed his award-winning military photography exhibit, discussed his motivations for covering war zones as a photojournalist and shared his process for long-form storytelling.
  • Benjamin Busch presented "The Art In War" photographs and shared his experiences from his two military tours in Iraq with arts council members and guests at Waukegan Public Library on September 16.
  • "A Conversation with Benjamin Busch" at Naval Station Great Lakes on September 17. Busch met with NSGL military and their families sharing his experiences in Iraq and reading from his award-winning memoir Dust to Dust.
  • Benjamin Busch spoke at the POW/MIA remembrance ceremony at Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center on September 17. He later met with an inspiring former WWII POW Army Veteran who is 98 years old to tell his story.
  • Benjamin Busch spoke with JROTC leadership and cadets at Waukegan High School on September 18.
  • Benjamin Busch spoke with Waukegan High School arts and humanities students over three separate periods on September 18.
  • Ryan Spencer Reed was a guest speaker at Jack Benny Middle School for three separate classes of communication students on November 10. It was the first time the school has had a guest speaker.
  • Ryan Spencer Reed spoke with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students from Most Blessed Trinity Academy at Urban Edge gallery on Veterans Day.


Alats Dance Club presented a dance tribute to "Those Who Serve" on November 6 and 7 at the Sign of the Dove. The tribute honored the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces through the art of dance and featured young performers from age 6 to young adults with original choreography by Cory Ratliff and Anisa Diaz.

ALATS Dance Club provides quality dance instruction to young people in a safe and Spirit filled environment, where they are built up and encouraged to be effective communicators through movement.

Proceeds supported Pure Love Uganda - a place for kids out of the slums of Kampala that encourages them in life skills and rebuilding their own lives through love and movement. The kids from Uganda also performed a special dance tribute to "Those Who Serve" choreographed by Cory Ratliff which was showcased via video during the ArtWise performance.

Navy Band Great Lakes Brass Ambassadors

The Navy Band Great Lakes "Brass Ambassadors" performed a free concert at Christ Episcopal Church on October 25 in collaboration with ArtWise honoring "Those Who Serve." Established in 1982 and comprised five brass instrumentalists, the Brass Ambassadors have performed throughout the Midwestern United States.

Veterans Open Mic

Green Town Tavern with the talented Sipos & Young hosted two special Veterans Open Mic nights on September 24 and October 22 dedicated to performers who are Veterans.

Two Soldiers and a Marine

Two Soldiers and a Marine, an American veteran-owned company, brought their mobile food truck to Waukegan outside Urban Edge gallery for the October 17 ArtWauk. It was a big hit, drew people to the art events and they nearly sold out of everything.

Veterans History Project

The Lake County legal community participated in the Veterans History Project again this year. On Veterans Day, 2015, 30 veterans from WW II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War came to the Lake County Courthouse for a reception and ceremony and to have their oral histories recorded by official court reporters. The typed transcripts were archived at The Library of Congress for use by researchers... and to inspire and educate both current and future generations about ‪"Those Who Serve." Over the past three years, 70 war veterans have come to the Lake County Courthouse to share their personal stories. We were proud to participate in the reception, share information about ArtWise and engage with these inspiring veterans.

Veterans Hiring Events

The Job Center of Lake County and Illinois Department of Employment Security worked collaboratively to provide free workshops at the Waukegan Public Library for Veterans and employers. A Veterans Resume Boot Camp on September 30 helped Veterans prepare to seek jobs, and the Employ Illinois Veterans session was geared toward employers to help companies successfully recruit, hire and retain Veterans.

We believe that it is our moral imperative as a society to create positive outcomes for our Veterans and this was one way ArtWise helped contribute to that outcome beyond raising awareness and improving understanding.


Campaign Elements

  • Website (
  • Social media and paid promotions
  • Comcast :30 spot in both English and Spanish (Cable TV and online)
  • Direct marketing via email
  • Exhibition guide for Ryan Spencer Reed exhibit
  • Posters and flyers
  • Placemats in restaurants
  • Snail mail packets to churches, banks, gas stations, military organizations, museums and historical societies, restaurants, retail establishments, schools, hotels
  • Signage on Urban Edge gallery
  • Large 4x4 signs around town and neighboring communities
  • Radio interviews with celebrity guest artists
  • News stories
  • Outreach

Comcast results

Digital In-Banner-Video on Xfinity Spotlight: Delivered 360,249 impressions

  • Targeted to Gurnee, Libertyville and McHenry zones to adults 21+
  • Mail center takeover on 9/10-11
  • Video ad received 2,793 video views
  • Consumers spent over 7 hours viewing and interacting with videos which equates to 950 30-second TV commercials
  • Engagement rate 0.96% - 20 times national average!

Digital Video Pre-Roll and Mid-Roll: Delivered 25,092 impressions

  • Targeted to Glenview/Evanston, Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Crystal Lake, Barrington, Highland Park, Libertyville, McHenry and Gurnee to adults 21+
  • Campaign ran 9/9 - 9/27 on premium publisher sites, such as YouTube, ABC News, NBC Universal, IMDB
  • 17,631 or 70.27% of video ad impressions were viewed in full

Added Value Video Spots: 2,799

  • TV spots ran on Animal Planet, BET, BTN, HLN, Discovery Channel, ESPN Deportes, Esquire Network, DIY Network, OWN, TR3S, The Weather Channel, TRU TV, Comcast Sports, NBCSN, LMN Network, CNN Español, History Channel Español, MTV, MSNBC, Fox Sports1, Nickelodeon, Fox Deportes, NFL Network, GSN, NBC GOLF
  • Ad broadcast during: Notre Dame games, Bears Huddle, Big Ten Network, NASCAR Racing, and Bulls v Pistons game


  • Increased Facebook LIKES from 1,064 (9/1) to 1,153 (11/11), an 8.5% increase
  • Post reach on 9/11 was 4,391
  • Average post reach 868 this period versus 276 average last period
  • Video views 7,666


Tripled the size of our mailing list!


  • CBS Chicago: "Best Veterans Day 2015 Events in Chicago" (November 9, 2015)
  • Lovell Federal Health Care Center News: “Veteran artists show work in ArtWise exhibit” (October 23, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “Bowen Park Theatre pays tribute to Sept. 11 first responders” (October 2, 2015)
  • Visit Lake County: What are you doing next weekend? Ryan Spencer Reed Exhibit at Urban Edge Webisode (October 1, 2015)
  • theYOUjournal: “Waukegan Salutes the Military with Art” (September 23, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “Local veterans show artistic strength in courthouse exhibit” (September 24, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “‘Wire’ actor, Iraq vet to Waukegan students: ‘Live a large life. Live forever'” (September 18, 2015)
  • theYOUjournal: “Photos by actor, Marine on display at Waukegan Library” (September 18, 2015)
  • Daily Herald: “Author Benjamin Busch to visit Waukegan Library” (September 16, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “Older Play Still Rings True” (September 16, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “Benjamin Busch, acclaimed author, artist, to visit Waukegan Public Library” (September 14, 2015)
  • WGN TV: “Suburban photo exhibit honors ‘Those Who Serve'” (September 11, 2015)
  • Daily Herald: “Waukegan events honor servicemen and women” (September 9, 2015)
  • Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun: “From Afghanistan to Waukegan: ‘Powerful’ combat photos lead art series” (September 8, 2015)
  • Great Lakes Bulletin: “ArtWise Opens in Waukegan Sept. 11″ (August 28, 2015)
  • LCTV: “ArtWise Initiative” – Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor interviews Ryan Spencer Reed (August 2015)
  • theYOUjournal: “Waukegan to host photo exhibition saluting military” (July 27, 2015)
  • Comcast Newsmakers: “Ryan Spencer Reed – Military Photography Exhibit” Paul Lisnek interviews Ryan Spencer Reed (June 2015)


Grew volunteer base from 1 to 110+

"I had the best experience in my entire life. The best memory ever." ArtWise volunteer

Survey REsults

At the close of ArtWise, surveys were distributed to: 1) Waukegan Arts Council Board/ArtWise Committee members, 2) Programming and Promotional Partners, Sponsors and Volunteers, 3) Participants. The following data was compiled based on response rates from each category: Board/Committee - 9/16, Partners, Sponsors, Volunteers - 55/147, Participants - 39/378+.

Did ArtWise achieve its goals?

To what extent do you feel ArtWise supports the Waukegan Arts Council's mission?

The Waukegan Arts Council serves as a catalyst to advance the economic, social and cultural life of Waukegan through education, collaboration, networking and promotion of the arts.

Do you feel you have a better understanding and appreciation for Those Who Serve our country in the military as a result of this series?

How satisfied were you with the quality and breadth of the programming overall?

How satisfied were you with how well the overall project was managed?

To what extent did ArtWise 2015 meet your goals as a sponsor, partner or volunteer?

Would you be willing to be involved again next year?

“We were proud to participate in the 2015 ArtWise Those Who Serve series. Contributing to a broad community-wide dialogue on such a powerful theme was important to us. That we were able to do so in two ways – with our writers series and with the Benjamin Busch exhibit in our new exhibition space – was especially gratifying. The community’s enthusiasm for each of the library’s events was phenomenal – and just kept growing! We’re looking forward to the next incarnation of Waukegan ArtWise.” -Richard Lee, Executive Director, Waukegan Public Library

Visitors to Ryan Spencer Reed Exhibit at Urban Edge

Visitor comments for Ryan Spencer Reed photography exhibit

  • "Every citizens should come see this to fully understand what we ask of our soldiers"
  • "Very interesting. Thank you for making this possible in Waukegan"
  • "Thanks for recognizing us Veterans!"
  • "Awesome display. I wish that all of the high schools in Lake County could see it."
  • "Thank you for bringing this exhibit to Waukegan!"
  • "Best thing to happen in Waukegan in a long time. Great job and thank you!"
  • "The best art installation I've seen on US war involvement in Afghanistan"
  • "My gratitude to 'Those Who Serve'"
  • "The sights and sounds we would not have experienced otherwise. Thanks!"
  • "Outstanding!!"
  • "Understanding"
  • "Impressive! Makes it very real!"
  • "Cool! Wow!"
  • "Amazing! Thank you"
  • "Thank you, thank you for sharing this with us!"
  • "Amazing photography!"
  • "The way you displayed your photographs made them even better!"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Awesome, Ryan!"
  • "Amazing work!"
  • "Very nice!"
  • "Amazing. So proud of you, Ryan."
  • "Awesome"
  • "Much more than I expected"
  • "Well done on a day it needed to be done"
  • "Thank you so much"
  • "Artistic, very moving, poignant"
  • "Hard-hitting, very powerful, and sad, and happy, and amazing"
  • "Life changing. Heard about how much the soldiers go through"
  • "Beautiful and well organized"
  • "Exciting pictures"
  • "War is stupid. What is the point?"
  • "Wonderful photography"
  • "Terrific Mr. Reed!"
  • "Nice photos!"
  • "Cool pictures!"
  • "Worth the time to see it. Hope more do."
  • "Great exhibit! Curahee!! 1/506"
  • "Amazing photography. Glad to see this side of the war."
  • "I'll be back - great show!"
  • "Very touching."
  • "Eye opening and heart piercing"
  • "Beautiful and engaging work!"
  • "Beautiful photos."
  • "Very outstanding breathtaking pictures"
  • "Beautiful"
  • "Very powerful and poignant. NO WAR!"
  • "Moto! 2/6 FoxCo!"
  • "Powerful exhibit."
  • "Very powerful!!"
  • "I like this for downtown Waukegan"
  • "USMC"
  • "Wonderful exhibit, now I am volunteering"
  • "Sad but happy memories"
  • "Nice photos"
  • "Super pictures"
  • "Exceptional!"
  • "Great - great"
  • "Riveting, touching, eye-opening"
  • "Great pictures"
  • "Great show pictures"
  • "Amazing!!"
  • "Thought-provoking"
  • "Incredible work that sustains emotion. Powerful exhibit!"
  • "Amazing images"
  • "Heard about at library"
  • "Fantastic!"
  • "Great work!"
  • "GRIMM"
  • "Excellent!!"
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Fascinating. Shows a whole different side of war."
  • "Stunning installation"
  • "Beautiful and touching"
  • "Moving!"
  • "Very powerful!"
  • "Speechless!"
  • "Fantastic!"
  • "Impressive"
  • "Revealing"
  • "An excellent show - glad it came to Waukegan. Thank you."
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Thank you!"
  • "WOW! Beautiful"
  • "Very nice!!"
  • "Bella, beautiful"
  • "Unforgettable"
  • "Remarkable"
  • "Amazing"
  • "Great"
  • "Spectacular"
  • "Terrific display"
  • "More questions than answers!"
  • "Incredible"
  • "Powerful"
  • "Thought-provoking"
  • "Thoughtful"
  • "Great exhibit and sound makes it real"
  • "Truly amazing form of art"
  • "War is not the ANSWER."
  • "I feel sadness. Beautiful work, touched my feelings"
  • "It was very nice"
  • "Well presented"
  • "Heart breaking"
  • "Very relevant. Poignant"
  • "Nice gallery"
  • "Great!"
  • "Fantastic!"
  • "Wonderful"
  • "Very nice"
  • "Nice"
  • "Amazing!!!"
  • "Great to see what a military action looks like"
  • "Stunning"
  • "Beautiful"
  • "Fantastic"
  • "Well put together showing perspectives and realities overseas"
  • "Extremely well presented. Thank you, Mr. Reed!"
  • "Interesting"
  • "Gives a sense of reality. Well presented."
  • "Informative"
  • "Fantastico!"
  • "Great for Waukegan. Thanks."
  • "Glad I was walking by"
  • "Good pictures"
  • "Wonderful, emotional and great! Educational"
  • "Spectacular"
  • "Great to see exhibition in daylight"
  • "Grateful for my freedom when I saw these pics"
  • "Awesome exhibit!"
  • "Amazing pictures!"
  • "Humbling experience"
  • "This is beautiful!"
  • "Meaningful exhibit"
  • "Good"
  • "Interesting - a different perspective"
  • "Beautiful use of blur to defocus and anonymize war"
  • "Many thanks for sharing your powerful captures with our community"
  • "Stunning images. Well done and welcome home"
  • "Kudos"
  • "Riveting, eye opening!"
  • "Powerful images. Would like to know more about the exhibition's title"
  • "Powerful story"
  • "Excellent!"
  • "Thank you for the fresh perspective"
  • "Fantastic!"
  • "This was great. Thank you for the emotions"
  • "Great photojournalism!"
  • "Amazing. Thank you!"
  • "Marvelous!"
  • "Great display. Good to show images for the military and stuff"
  • "Thanks for your contributions to the military community for civilians"
  • "I love the photographs!"
  • "Very interesting perspective!"
  • "Love the exhibit. Exceptional photos"
  • "Wonderful collection!"
  • "Very interesting"
  • "LOVE!"
  • "Loved it! Very interesting"
  • "Very impressive"
  • "Thank you very much for having this. God bless"
  • "Amazing exhibit!"
  • "Thought-provoking"
  • "!"
  • "This is heavy stuff"
  • "Hangar and mortar photo were the most memorable"
  • "Very cool"
  • "Very nice"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Nice!"
  • "Amazing!"
  • "I really like all the photos!"
  • "Awesome! Would love to see more"
  • "WOW!"
  • "Beautiful pics!"
  • "Amazing"
  • "Wonderful work!"
  • "Sobering"
  • "Powerful and amazing!!"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Amazing!"
  • "Speechless!"
  • "Wonder pictures"
  • "A unique look"
  • "Emotional since my son is in the military"
  • "Amazing and beautiful"
  • "Beautiful"
  • ":-)"
  • "Heart throbbing"
  • "Wow!"
  • "Outstanding POV. Thank you. First time visitor"
  • "Very moving and sobering as to the realities of the Armed Services"
  • "Very inspiring photography. Would love to meet the artist."
  • "This was great. Very inspiring and thought provoking"
  • "Inspiring"
  • "First time and loved it"
  • "Haunting. I loved the effect of the slow shutter speed in low light"
  • "Moving and inspiring piece of work!"
  • "Very detailed work. Thanks"
  • "Not bad, 'AT ALL'"
  • "Interesting. What is that sound? Nice, cool"
  • "Very detailed"
  • "Great POV"
  • "First time, thank you"
  • "First time visitor"
  • "God bless. First time visitor"
  • "A view of war not shown on the news"
  • "Good insight of the war"
  • "Loved it!"
  • "We would like to meet the photographer for work"
  • "Need to meet photographer"
  • "Would like meet and greet with artist. Moving work. First timer"
  • "Very powerful exhibit"
  • "Compelling beyond belief. How these images were selected - amazing!"
  • "Jane Ferry was wonderful coordinating our Cub Scout visit"
  • "Thank you Matt Burleson for speaking"
  • "Very poetic, I loved the painting"
  • "A tribute to those you have/continue to serve!"
  • "Great display. Very poignant and insightful"
  • "Very nice"
  • "Great tribute!"
  • "Great!"
  • "Great!"
  • "Great - aerial shots were the most favored"
  • "Totally awesome. Great job"
  • "Loved the shots of the soldiers coming home"
  • "Very, very nice!"
  • "Great work"
  • "Always enjoy coming here!!"
  • "Very well done. Brings back good memories with time I spent with troops"
  • "Nice quote"
  • "Soldier watching baby born got to me. Great work."
  • "Awesome!"
  • "Very interesting"
  • "Thank you so much for sharing these pictures with me. God bless"
  • "Amazing photography"
  • "Must be displayed in a bigger area for everyone to see!"
  • "Very interesting"
  • "Very nice!"
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Thank you. Best wishes"
  • "Very thought provoking for us as a career Air Force couple"
  • "Very well done. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell from 2001-2010. I was in the 506th"
  • "Wonderful! Thank you!"
  • "Very good photography"
  • "Awesome. Need to come back with my husband"
  • "Great pictures that capture the emotions of war is like today. Great tribute"
  • "Very good"
  • "Loved the exhibit"
  • "Loved the exhibit!"
  • "Fantastic! Again, great tribute!"
  • "Awesome photography! Thank you for capturing images most of us would never otherwise see"
  • "Thanks"
  • "Very real. Thank you."
  • "Great work!"
  • "Very interesting. Great photos"
  • "Cool!"
  • "Excellent photography! Storytelling"
  • "Excellent"
  • "Excellent display"
  • "Great photos"
  • "Good representation"
  • "Love this"
  • "Great"
  • "Very professional display"
  • "Beautiful"
  • "Amazing"
  • "Illuminating photos telling stories"
  • "USAF First Gulf War, Thank you"
  • "Outstanding. Very graphic depiction of current conflict"
  • "From Champaign Park District. Great exhibit"
  • "Awesome"
  • "Awesome!"
  • "Moving!"
  • "Stunning"
  • "Used to date a military member. Brings back a lot."
  • "Thought provoking"
  • "WOW! More please"
  • "Great light"
  • "Moving!"
  • "Very symbolic, moving, reminiscing"
  • "Emotional"
  • "Unbelievable"
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Loved it!"
  • "Brought my husband back. Really captures the experience"
  • "Insightful"
  • "Poignant"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Great/aerials very interesting"
  • "Excellent!"
  • "Have come twice. Superb show. Will you be in California anytime? Thank you"
  • "Great work!"
  • "Picture an exit strategy! The medics are so heroic, they deserve mention"
  • "Why is it called 'Fiction'?"
  • "The heart and soul of the military!"
  • "Very impressive images"
  • "Eye opening, heart opening!"
  • "Fantastic"
  • "Great exhibit. Wonderful, powerful images, perspective and photography"
  • "Nice photography"
  • "What a great view of a tough situation. Great photos"
  • "Fantastic and moving"
  • "Sad to see this display leave"
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Thank you and God bless"
  • "Great exhibit"
  • "Outstanding work!"
  • ":-)"
  • "Pretty"
  • "Impressive"
  • "Surreal"
  • "Amazing"
  • "Nice :-)"
  • "Amazing"
  • "Nice"
  • "Outstanding work"
  • "Words cannot express this impact"
  • "Inspiring!!"
  • "Very emotional! Thank you!"
  • "Powerful, breathtaking, WOW!"
  • "Beautiful photos and history"
  • "Awe-inspiring. Brought back memories."
  • "Very nice"
  • "Inspiring and beautiful pictures"
  • "Very nice :-)"
  • "Makes you think"
  • "My heart and spirit feel graced and humbled. Thank you. USAF Vet 1973-77"
  • "Revealing"
  • "It was good to see this a second time"
  • "It really makes you think…"
  • "Very impressive!!"
  • "Ryan has a great eye. Love it!"
  • "Thank you to Those Who Serve"
Created By
Lori Nerheim

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