Exhibit, Film Screening & Discussion in Honor of Veteran's Day

November 16, 2015
Kathleen Daniels, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, gives tour of David Byrd's
Carol Chase gives tour of David Byrd's "War is Always With Us" exhibit

On November 13, the MSW Area of Emphasis in Military (AEMP) Scholars hosted students, colleagues and the community for a powerful two-part event at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University. 

Carol Chase, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, kicked-off the event with a guided tour of David Byrd's "War is Always With Us" exhibit (see below).  Attendees then screened "The Invisible War," a documentary about sexual assault in the military.  Trista Matascastillo, veteran and Chair of the Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative, and Linda Van Egeren, PhD, a Military Sexual Trauma (MST) coordinator and Psychologist at the Minneapolis VA, led a discussion about healing the wounds of this "invisible war."

Photos of the event can be viewed on the St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work Facebook page»

War is Always With Us offers an empathetic look at veterans and mental illness - published October 15 in St. Kate's News by Sharon Rolenc

The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University presents War is Always With Us by David Byrd. The exhibition runs November 2–December 18, and is free and open to the public.

Byrd was a night orderly from 1958–88 in the psychiatric ward of the Veterans Administration Medical Hospital in Montrose, New York. The paintings selected for St. Kate's show were inspired by his experience at the VA. This series of paintings illustrate the daily routines and individual personalities of institutionalized veterans. Byrd’s careful compositions reflect the isolation and desperation of mental illness, which few other artists have explored with such empathy and understanding.

Byrd was a prolific painter, particularly after his retirement, and almost went undiscovered. A neighbor stumbled upon Byrd's work, and introduced him to the art world in 2013. His first exhibition, “Introduction: A Life of Observation,” opened days before Byrd was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He died shortly after the show closed at age 87.

“From time to time you hear of undiscovered artists; this is the first time I've been directly involved with one,” says Kathleen Daniels, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. “While David Byrd may not have been well-known during his lifetime, I suspect he will long be remembered for the legacy he has left behind. I am extremely excited and privileged to be introducing his work!”

Jody Isaacson, the neighbor who discovered Byrd, has an exhibition, Form & Memory, running concurrently with War is Always With Us.

Gallery hours:
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, noon–6 p.m.