Art by South Carolina native son and U.S. Army combat veteran Brad Carraway will be on display through June 15 in Thompson Gallery of the Roe Art Building on the campus of Furman University. Regular Thompson Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A reception and talk with the artist is set for Friday, May 18, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Roe Art Building. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
The exhibition, “Surviving War is Hell: Healing the Emotional Traumas of War Through Art,” is presented by the Furman Department of Art. It features work inspired by the artist’s struggle with combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and his desire to help others who are dealing with the condition.
The exhibition coincides with National Military Appreciation Month and National Mental Health Awareness Month in May, and National PTSD Awareness Month in June.
“Surviving War is Hell” consists of both 2-D and 3-D artwork, which is divided into two separate parts. The viewer-friendly “Therapeutic Art” was produced as part of Carraway’s therapy treatment for PTSD symptoms or during study of the condition. The darker and often more disturbing “Veteran Art” is intended to visually express what it’s like to suffer with PTSD and the plight to come to terms with the experiences of combat.
The goal of the exhibition is to immerse the audience in a visual narrative of internal conflict and to engage and educate the community about the effects of PTSD. While highlighting the benefits of therapeutic art in the treatment of PTSD, the exhibition is intended to promote a better understanding of how PTSD affects sufferers and help dispel inaccurate assumptions about the condition.
After his 2005 deployment in Iraq and subsequent diagnosis with PTSD, Carraway returned to college to study art and psychology. He became a Peer Support Specialist, learning to help mentor other veterans wrestling with PTSD. He established a Veteran Art Program in the Upstate to empower and heal veterans who are impacted by psychological and physical trauma.
For more information about the exhibition, contact Furman’s Department of Art at 864-294-2995.