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Local museum hosts veterans tribute

The “A Military Life” exhibit in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum began in May 2012 as a way to honor Washington County veterans and share their stories.
The current installment of “A Military Life” features work from The Warrior’s Canvas and it is the first veterans’ art exhibit to be on display in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum, located within the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center.
The rotating exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and the Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by Marion Light. Past exhibits have honored veterans from World War I through Operation Enduring Freedom, and have displayed uniforms, personal equipment and mementos, medals and much more.
“The goal of the exhibit has always been to focus on aspects of military service that people usually don’t think about, such as the food, downtime, distance from family and friends and training information,” Heritage Alliance Executive Director Deborah Montanti said. “Aspects of the exhibits have touched on war time, but they’ve also discussed peace time service and what happens after a soldier returns home.
“We were thrilled when Marion Light approached us earlier this year and proposed a meeting between The Warrior’s Canvas and the Heritage Alliance,” Montanti added. “That initial meeting led to the exhibit currently on display, and we’re very proud to partner with The Warrior’s Canvas to share the artwork of local veterans and their powerful mission.”
Established two years ago by veterans David Shields and Jason Sabbides, The Warrior’s Canvas and Veterans Art Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose “purpose is to build an artist community of military veterans, to provide a professional gallery for artist veterans to display and sell their work, and to be a rallying point and gathering place for veterans of all branches of military service.”
In addition to providing studio space for veterans and their families, The Warrior’s Canvas also holds art classes in various media, from drawing and painting, to photography and much more.
They are currently organizing the first Northeast Tennessee Ruck and Roll on Saturday, Nov. 14, that will include a series of ruck marches and runs to honor local veterans.
The artwork featured in the exhibit includes paintings, ceramics, wood carvings and more. The pieces display a wide array of color and themes, some depict scenes that deal with military service, and others show expression in the forms of flying fowl and ships at sea.
The artists are diverse, and they span different genders, ages, branches of service, wars/conflicts, and artistic mediums. Information on their studio/gallery located at 320 E. Main St. in Johnson City, and their upcoming programs and classes is also available in the museum.
The “A Military Life” exhibit will be a part of Jonesborough’s 32nd tribute to veterans hosted on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center.
“If you can’t make it out to the tribute on Nov. 8, the exhibit will be on display through the first months of 2016,” Montanti said.
The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences.
For more information, please call the Heritage Alliance at 753-9580 or contact the organization via email at [email protected]
Further information can also be found online at