1400 N. American Street, Philadelphia
Curated by Amy Herrera
Work by Amy Herrera, Bren Mack, Erica Slone, Jennifer Pacanowski, Jeremy Stainthorp-Bergren, Nate Lewis
For over a decade, America has been consumed by the “war on terrorism.” This has led to a more state-controlled America, with the government creeping into every facet of our lives. All the while, corporate controlled media give the war a Hollywood sex appeal with reality shows based in war zones, videos of live fire fights on youtube, and “news” of voluptuous reality starlets going to support the troops.
American culture has become consumed with militarism and misogyny. War has become pornography and pornography has become war. The real issues are never broadcast or discussed because “entertainer’s” lives have become “news,” and not the war; the ignorance is perpetuated and the corporations that control politicians and the media erode our rights. – Amy Herrera, curator, High Speed
Amy Herrera was born in Yuba City, California. At the age of eighteen, just three months before the attacks of September 11th, she enlisted in the Air Force’s delayed entry program. She joined the Air Force on Dec. 4, 2001, and went to San Antonio with a guaranteed job as a weather journeyman. As a weather journeyman, she was stationed at Scott AFB, Illinois, where she was served out the rest of her enlistment. Although she never deployed, she was awarded both the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Global War on Terror medal for successfully supporting missions in theater. She separated from the military in June of 2005, and in January of 2006, she started working at the Boeing Company. While at Boeing, she finished a Master’s in Public Affairs from Park University. She left her position in 2010 to open her own firm. She currently lobbies for veteran’s causes and actualizes political propaganda.
Bren Mack is from Delaware, and currently resides in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He hopes to one day spend the rest of his life being creative and to not work for “the man.”
Erica Slone was born and raised Southeastern, Ohio and joined the U.S. Air Force in 2002. Slone deployed multiple times in support of the Global War on Terror. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at The Ohio State University and joined OSU’s Veterans Learning Community, in which veterans transform their experiences into relevant research. In January 2010, Slone co-curated the Visualizing the Experiences of War (ViEW) exhibition at the Urban Arts Space in Columbus, OH. Slone recently curated an exhibition of women veterans entitled Overlooked / Looked Over for the National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago, IL.
Jennifer Pacanowski joined the Army to become a medic, work in a hospital and someday become a nurse. She was sent to Iraq in 2004 and spent all of 2004 as a combat medic, doing medical support for convoys in Iraq. She was diagnosed with PTSD, and began writing and submitted work to Warrior Writers for publication in Remaking Sense. Her work is published in After Action Review, Warrior Writers’ third anthology, and one of my poems is featured in the film, Out of Step. She is currently Workshop Facilitator for Warrior Writers and Outreach Coordinator for Veterans’ Sanctuary in Ithaca, NY. And, she love dogs.
Jeremy Stainthorp-Bergren served in the Marine Corps, and was in the reserves from 1998-2006. When he enlisted he had just been accepted into college and wanted to make sure his degree was a priority. His MOS was in supply, but in 2003 his command changed his unit’s MOS to mortuary affairs. In 2004 he graduated from college with a BFA in drawing and painting. He has been working with college students the past few years coordinating leadership programs. His interest in art is really learning how to write or talk about his experiences, and, with visual art, conveying the theme of military suicide. In 2001 a marine at his unit committed suicide, and with the rising numbers of veteran and service member suicides, it is something he feels is still relevant.
Nate Lewis joined the Army straight out of high school, September 11, 2001, was his second day of boot camp. He grew up in the small town of Barker, New York, they hung yellow ribbons on all the trees to honor the many young service members from the area; his picture hung in the center of the school, surrounded by flags. He felt he was doing good things for my country – until he deployed to Iraq in the initial invasion of 2003. He doubted that the war was about freedom, democracy or national security; that unmistakable look of fear and helplessness on the Iraqis’ faces told him differently. His commander begged me to re-enlist like a child begging for a cookie, but he refused and left the military. He graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam with a degree in History and Secondary Social Studies Education. He is both horrified and shocked at the wars we find ourselves fighting.
Hours by appointment only November 26 and 27. Call 215-235-3405 to schedule.