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Badge of Honor at KHAC
Francis Hollenkamp - Mike James - Raymond Thompson
January 28 - March 5, 2017

Kennedy Heights Arts Center
6546 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213

Opening Reception
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
6pm - 8pm

Artist Talk & Closing Night!
Saturday, February 25th, 2017

6pm - 8pm

- Discussion: 5pm-6:30pm
- Reception: 6:30-9pm

Throughout the space of Kennedy Heights Arts Center, viewers will find an appreciation for the emotions these artists are able to bring forward. Guests are encouraged to interact with one another, to join the discussion Badge of Honor presents.

Mike James offers rarely seen vantage points. This series of work, captured during tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq offer new perspective. While stationed abroad, he took it upon himself to explore his new-found communities and interact with cultures in ways that the American public rarely sees.

Raymond Thompson's work stems from aspects of social justice, paired with an aggressive prison system and the affects both have on our nation's youth. While this exhibition presents only a selection of his work, stories from within his imagery are relatable to a large segment of our population.

Francis Hollenkamp rounds out the group with a conceptual take on iconography, one which leads to investigations into scale and perspective. Literally by the thousands, his arrangements of toy soldiers drum up thoughts of strength, alongside notions of defenselessness.

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Statement from the curator:

"Souls are more fragile than human flesh, sometimes they just never seem to heal."

Pulled from a 1992 episode of Murder She Wrote -- entitled Badge of Honor -- these words often remain accurate. How do you see all that surrounds you today? How does your recognition of our "current" affect your ways of being?

While it's easy to find conflict -- both overseas, as well as domestically -- often overlooked is the calm that surrounds these instances. These are the moments that ring most important in this exhibition.

Coverage of the louder episodes within our domestic movements are easily discovered, but the joyous souls that remain painfully silent, yet proud, are often overlooked. While news outlets air footage of attacks our government carries out overseas, we rarely catch a glimpse into our local communities that stand strong and the foreign communities that aid our troops -- both instilling a certain level of comfort to those in need.

Primarily, this exhibition juxtaposes a number of foreign and domestic, conversation-worthy photographs in an attempt to address conditions of the present. A third component which integrates the sculptural form, in the way of repetitive use of toy soldiers, adds an additional layer to the conversation. Both large and small, human similarities will be highlighted throughout the space. Scale will also become a factor, especially as a few hidden features will be woven throughout the space.

The work of three artists -- Francis Hollenkamp (Cincinnati), Mike James (Cincinnati), and Raymond Thompson (Morgantown, WV) -- will be brought to light in an attempt to subtly address the aforementioned topics throughout the exhibition space of Kennedy Heights Arts Center.

When this exhibition is woven together throughout the space of Kennedy Heights Arts Center, the hope is that viewers will find an appreciation for the emotions these artists are able to bring forward. The bigger goal is to compel guests to interact with one another about how certain aspects of Badge of Honor affects them personally. Conversation is encouraged.

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Prepared by: Jonathan Sears
PAR-Projects' Chief Curator