Pop Smoke: A Veteran Art Exhibition
August 13, 2022–january 15, 2023
Curated By Amber Zora
Pop Smoke: A Veteran Art Exhibition is a survey of veteran artists who utilize bright colors, basic shapes, commonplace images, or repetitive means of production within their art making practice. Several early Pop Movement artists served in the armed forces during WWII and the Korean War, including Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and Richard Artschwager. This exhibition is a nod to those early veteran pop artists as we turn our attention to veteran artists who continue to use similar moods.
By exploring veteran art making practices in ways that are playful, tongue in cheek and ironic, we consider the many different forms and artistic tones that poignant artistic expression can take. We also examine the multitudes of the veteran artist identity: Who is a veteran artist? And what is veteran art?
The exhibition's title is a military slang term referring to throwing smoke grenades as a means of cover or escape during battle. The term "pop smoke" is also common slang that means "to leave a place".
The exhibition will feature artwork by Gary Dyak, Victor de la Flor, Reginald Green, Thomas Gronowski, Gina Herrera, Jason Humphrey, Sean Lenahan, Phyllis Miller, Bill Schinsky, and Duke Windsor. The full list of artists to be included will be announced on June 20.
This exhibition is developed in partnership with The Veterans Art Project (VETART) and made possible with support from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). Additional sponsorship support provided by Visit Oceanside.
Celebrate with us on October 29, 2022
Watch a video by curator Amber Zora about the creation of this exhibition (8 minutes 17 seconds).
About the Curator
Amber Zora is an interdisciplinary artist and curator. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography + Integrated Media from Ohio University. Zora helped build the Veteran Residency Program at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA that continues to this day. She is a member of the emerging Veteran Art Movement, and in 2018 was a NEH fellow for the Veteran Art Summit and Triennial in Chicago. During that time, she curated Open/Closed, a veteran art exhibition, at the National Veteran Art Museum.
Zora has worked with a number of institutions to promote veteran art through planning, programming and creating space for discussion. She was enlisted in the US Army for eight years and deployed to Qayyarah West, Iraq as an ammunition specialist from 2006-2007 with the 592nd Ordnance Company.
This exhibition is developed in partnership with The Veterans Art Project (VETART) and made possible with support from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC).
Additional sponsorship support provided by Visit Oceanside.