The Dirty Canteen – In the military we were issued brand new canteens, but after many training exercises and deployments the canteens became worn, abused and dirty.
The Dirty Canteen is a metaphor for our involvements and experiences while in the military. We were soldiers and humanitarians and though we can no longer do so in uniform, we choose to continue this service to others by using the arts. We served in conflicts from Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and Iraq. There are nine members of the Dirty Canteen artist collective. All of which serve(d) honorably in the military and aim to raise awareness about issues veterans face while returning home from conflict.
Our stories and work translate into conversations that try to bridge the gap between military and civilian cultures. This dialog hopes to bring understanding of how war and trauma not only affect members of the military, but our society as a whole. Our mission is not to promote a particular belief but to pose questions about the many difficult and genuine concerns the American community possesses about current and past military engagements.
We wish to share our stories, artwork and message of peace and appreciate the opportunities to do so.
The Documentary Series – The Dirty Canteen has partnered with Artists for Awareness Inc. (NFP) which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Artists for Awareness Inc. is young and eager to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of others. This organization is led by an Army Ranger Veteran, Ryan Walsh, who served from 2004-09 with three deployments, two to Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Artists for Awareness Inc. and any persons affiliated accepts no salary or income of any kind and does so to lead by example.
The Dirty Canteen Documentary Series will highlight artists who art part of this generation’s Veteran Art Movement. These artists have exhibited their works in Galleries, Museums and Educational Institutions across the United States and abroad. They are masters of their craft, both in medium and in concept. Most have earned or are in the process of earning Master’s Degrees in Fine Arts. The viewer will be able to witness their individual processes as well as learn how they create meaningful and powerful works that hope to inspire and engage others through contemplation and conversation.
The stories shared are personal reflections of their individual military experiences, but are often mirrored by many other Veterans, both past and present. The series will be in three parts, the first is completed and was released February, 2016.