More than 35 illustrations depicting wounded U.S. soldiers in various stages of recovery will be exhibited Thursday, May 17, through Saturday, June 23, in the Student Union Art Gallery.
The display, “The Joe Bonham Project,” represents the efforts of wartime illustrators to document the struggles of U.S. service personnel undergoing rehabilitation after traumatic frontline injury. Formed in early 2011 by Michael Fay, the project takes its name from the central character in “Johnny Got His Gun,” Dalton Trumbo’s 1938 novel of a WWI soldier unable to communicate with the outside world due to the extent of his wounds.
UNC Charlotte art student Rob Bates, a wartime illustrator with eight years in the Marine Corps infantry and who served three tours of duty, organized the exhibit. He is a member of the International Society of War Artists (ISWA) and a 2006 graduate of Art Instruction Schools. He currently is pursuing a degree in art from the University. His work is part of the National Museum of the Marine Corps Combat Art Collection and has been featured in national publications. He became a contributor to the Joe Bonham Project in 2011.
An opening reception for the display will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m., May 22, at the gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. (Note, this a change in the previously reported opening reception due to a campus power outage)
Other contributing artists to the exhibit include project founder Fay, who held the position of combat artist for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2000-10. He was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan and currently serves as an artist-correspondent with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He is the author of “Drawing Fire” and writes on his blog “Fire and Ice.”
Victor Juhasz graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York before launching a successful career in illustration. He has been commissioned nationally and internationally in publishing and has worked as a courtroom artist. He first became involved in war-time illustration through “Operation Links,” a Troops First Foundation tour of bases in Kuwait and Iraq in 2008, sending original drawings to family members. He began collaborating with the Bonham Project in 2011.
American illustrator Jeff Fisher also graduated from the Parson School and currently contributes to the Bonham Project. With more than 25 years as a professional artist/illustrator, his work has appeared in book and magazine designs, posters, murals, advertising, graphic novels, courtroom and fashion illustrations and children’s books.