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New exhibit, 'Portraits of Home,' opens at ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham

A new exhibit opens this week at the ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham.

The exhibit, "Portraits of Home II: Veterans in Search of Shelter in Greater Minnesota," will be on display through January 3.

Sponsored by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the exhibit addresses an important question for our times, "What does society owe those who have committed their lives to serving their country?"

As George Slade, Artistic Director for the Minnesota Center for Photography has written about the exhibit, "The concept of a "veteran's home" assumes a benevolent host, a supervisory agency that takes as its mission the centralized housing and provisioning of a demobilized army. The idealized "home" may take the form of a large institution with expansive grounds where retired soldiers live out their years amongst their fellow warriors. While there are such institutions, the true variety of homes for veterans is as wide-ranging as the experiences of ex-soldiers are diverse, spread across age and time and place and too often falling short of what most of us would wish for those who have given up time and energy in support of our health as a nation."

The photographers in this exhibition---Carlos Gonzalez, Brian Lesteberg, Stormi Greener, Steve Streble, Cathy ten Broeke, and Chante Wolf--- have used their cameras to document images of homelessness and sub-standard housing, issues that face some veterans even today. "What emerges," says Slade, "are images of accommodation, of individuals and groups reckoning with forces that have compelled them to adopt and adapt to non- or sub-standard conditions for shelter. We can all recognize parts of ourselves in these images and appreciate the subtle but critical distinctions between "house" and "home" that resonate in this collective portrait."

The ITOW Veterans Museum is located at 805 West Main, Perham and is open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-4. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students. Veterans are admitted free.