Art as path to 'healing, compassion and greater understanding'

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
A sculpture by Dennis Smith from the “Fragments: An Archeology of Memory” show at Liberty Arts in Yreka. “A sword lies broken, at the 38th parallel. A soldier sits, head in hands, remembering.” Submitted

Liberty Arts in Yreka will host an opening reception for “Fragments: An Archeology of Memory” set for Friday, Oct. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The opening reception will include an artist’s talk with Dr. Johnson at 6 p.m. The show continues through Nov. 30.

As stated in a press release, “Throughout history, veterans have taken on the role of storyteller whether through visual art, poetry, music, performance or around the kitchen table. It is the community’s responsibility to listen – in so doing we honor their voices and their experiences and let them know we are listening.

“It is also through the power of the arts that we can find a direct path to healing, compassion and greater understanding. And it is through this understanding that a community deepens its connection to its veterans, itself, and its place in the world.”

Liberty Arts and the Siskiyou County Arts Council have collaborated on a Veterans in the Arts Initiative to bring guest artist, Kendall Johnson, from southern California to share his Vietnam series of paintings and writings with Siskiyou County.

Also featured in this exhibition are sculptures by Dennis Smith, creator of the sculptures at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden in Weed to remember and honor all of those affected by the ravages of war.

“Through the works of these two artists we are encouraged to allow the paintings, writings, and sculptures to play off each other. There is often no clear relationship between text and object which further reinforces the sense of elusive and fragmented memory that permeates this exhibition,” says curator Lugene Whitley.

The Siskiyou County Arts Council wishes to thank Liberty Arts for hosting this important exhibition, the California Arts Council who provided grant funding for the initiative, and art patron Linda Reed, for funding to help bring Dr. Johnson and his work to Siskiyou County.

This initiative also provides school field trip opportunities to the LMSG in spring 2019. For more information on the field trip program, contact SCAC Executive Director Lugene Whitley at

Liberty Arts Gallery is located at 108 W Miner Street.

For more information see or call 530-842-0222.