(Seguin) -- The art talents of area American Veterans will be on display this week here in Seguin. The various art pieces will be a part of this week's first ever Veterans' Visual Art Exhibit. The exhibit is scheduled for today and Wednesday at the American Legion Hall on East Kingsbury Street.
The art exhibit featuring the works of approximately 35 area veterans is being made possible thanks to the American Legion Post 245 family and a GVEC Power Up Grant awarded to the Seguin Art League.
Liza Romero, the president of the Seguin Art League, says because art allows for the creation of unique connections with people through various mediums, the group wanted to reach a broader part of the community.
"Last year, we were working with GVEC on an application for a grant and what we wanted to do was expand our community outreach. We've been doing the children and high school shows -- nine years for the children show and eight years for the high school show now and we wanted to broaden our outreach to the community and we thought of the veterans community. We have a couple of members of the art league who are very active here at this American Legion Post. We shared that idea with them and they liked it. So we asked the post to partner with us and provide the venue. We applied for the grant (and) received the grant. So we acquired some professional grade display panels and lighting so we can really show off the art and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful show," said Romero.
Romero says over 75 pieces of art work will be on display these next two days. She says all guests will also be invited to vote on a People's Choice Award for Best Visual Art Exhibitor.
"What we have so far is we have paintings, traditional oil and acrylic paintings. We have photography -- some magnificent photography. We have some interesting 3D work. We actually have some very artistic needle work, a Renaissance lady's costume. We have an American Indian head dress. We have some beautiful paper sculpture. It's highly varied," said Romero.
Romero says doors to the exhibit open at 1 p.m. today. An official opening reception will follow at 6 p.m.
"The exhibit will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and then we will have Tuesday evening, we will have a formal opening ceremony at 6 p.m. including a color guard and a short speech from a World War II Veteran. On Wednesday evening, we will also have a closing ceremony at 6 p.m., but if someone wants to come by during the day to see the art, it can be viewed anytime from 1 to 8 p.m.," said Romero.
Serving as the opening reception speaker will be WWII Veteran Jim Ulbrich states, "I grew up reading about the turmoil in Europe. When I first heard about Pearl Harbor, I thought about my brother Harold Ulbrich, who had been commissioned a 1st Lt. in the Army under Gen. Patton. He was a forward observer who directed the cannon fire. And when the war was over, I thought about how great it was and I could get back to civilian life, catch up on things and go back to school. It was an experience changing from someone else making my decisions to civilian life. I started my sculpture art lessons at McNay Art School in San Antonio."
The closing ceremony on Wednesday features speaker, Dr. Henry Moore. Moore states "I see art as the conscience of our society. My painting sends the message to the world on how I believe and where we go. Art is color….color moves the world."
Romero says the public is invited to visit and enjoy the good company of area veterans.
"Please come, you will love the art. There will be something here that you like. You may get an opportunity to speak with some of the veterans. Many of the artsts will be here with us. Art League members will be here. We are going to have a book available for donation that is a compilation of interviews done by TLU (Texas Lutheran University) students with local veterans and it's bi-lingual. It's written in both English and Spanish. So we have that available -- just a good opportunity to see the other side or another facet of who veterans really are," said Romero.
The Seguin Art League is a 501(c)3 organization focused on connecting art and the community. All events are free and open to the public.