By Libby Smith
DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is displaying an entire show of art done by veterans.
“This is a good friend of mine, Shawn Murphy. He’s now going to school. He was a combat engineer, and was injured in Iraq,” said Jeff Mallo, one of the artists.
Mallo took a series of pictures of retired military personnel in their lives now, holding a picture of themselves from their military service.
“Another friend of mine, Ethan Lebarge. He was an infantryman in the 101st,” Mallo indicating another of his pictures.
“It was kind of to show what we did in the military, because we’re so tied up to that,” he explained.
The pictures show that transition from military to civilian life. A transition that Mallow is going through now.
“I still consider myself an infantry man, even though I’m retired,” Mallo told CBS4.
He did 27 years in the United States Army.
“I do miss it. It was a big part of my life, and I never felt like I worked a day,” Mallo said.
It’s just that kind of exploration that this photography project was designed for. Ten veterans developed personal projects over the course of several months and with the help of mentors.
“It was amazing,” said Samantha Johnston, executive director of the CPAC. “To get to hear all their stories, and to see what they’ve been through and what they’ve done for our country and for us.”
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Throughout the project, there were many lessons about composition, lighting and even photography software. But, it was pushing outside of his comfort zone that Mallow found most valuable.
“How do I show them? How do I bring about what they’re doing? How their transition is going, not mine?” Mallo said.
This veterans’ art project will become an annual program at CPAC. “Internal Narratives: Projects by Veterans” is on display through the end of the year at CPAC.
Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.