The Veterans Book Project is a library of books authored collaboratively by artist Monica Haller and dozens of veterans who have been affected by the current American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have archived their experiences. Soldiers returning from war face huge obstacles getting back into civilian life—the loss of friends, limbs, minds, and perhaps innocence. As a supplement to traditional therapies for these issues, Haller thinks photography and art can play a big role in recovery. Since 2006, the Veterans Book Project has facilitated bookmaking workshops around the country, including a two-week workshop at the Milwaukee Art Museum in December 2012.
The Veterans Book Project in Milwaukee will chronicle the experiences of local Milwaukee Iraq War Veterans and family members. In these workshops, combat and non-combat veterans, their families, and others affected by the current American wars are invited to edit and design their archives and stories into softbound, print-on-demand books. The 53 books that make up the Veterans Book Project Library, including five new works by local veterans, will be on view. The exhibition is designed as a reading room where visitors are invited to engage with the veterans’ experiences through reading, writing and conversation.
The Veterans Book Project exhibition celebrates the Museum’s joint mission with the War Memorial Corporation “to honor the dead by serving the living.” All Veterans receive free Museum admission during the run of the exhibition.