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JU Fine Arts Exhibit Highlights Motion, Military Life

Fine art master’s students at Jacksonville University have a new gallery of work on display.

Some of the art might move viewers emotionally, while other pieces are literally moving.

Brandon Lettow is standing in front of a row of four 3-D printers in the Phillips Fine Arts Building at Jacksonville University.

“My focus in this gallery exhibit was the kinetic or performative elements that machines go through,” Lettow said.

Each printer is handmade, crafted together with metal and wires. The components are exposed, not like the printers in offices. Each printing machine sits on a white pedestal, and they’re printing plastic spirals.

Lettow said, “It’s much more about the process of making more so than the product that was made.”

It’s part of his concept for his Master’s thesis. He says he’s always tinkered with machines. And like most other students in the graduate program, his project relates to his experiences.

Tawan Harrellchester, another art student, is a military veteran.

Harrellchester said, “I was in the military for four years, my spouse, 30.”

She took those experiences and translated them to canvas.

“These are acrylic on canvas base. The canvas is actually re-purposed military uniforms,” she said.

Harrellchester says it’s a way to show there’s still usefulness in military members after their service is over. 

In a pair of paintings hung side by side, the left one is a child innocently playing with a toy boat, next to a painting of a raft full of Navy men holding on to the vessel for dear life.

“Most people are used to what’s seen at home and then we only get flashes of what’s seen through mass media of what goes on in the military,” she said.

In the corner she’s placed an old military sea bag with a rough figure painted on the fabric. She says she looked at photos of homeless veterans for inspiration.

The Jacksonville University exhibition is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the Phillips Fine Arts Building. It runs through August 26.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.