1. Why use art in a lecture series?
Art is a universal language. Each painting or sculpture has a story to tell and opens unlimited avenues by which you will learn the true story of the Vietnam War. After an assembly type lecture, I like to do several workshops where we can get right down to the meat of the learning experience and have a Q&A session.
2. Will you accept new art?
Absolutely! Hopefully I will be able to raise enough money to open a gallery and invite veteran's groups and hospital trauma and P.T.S.D. units in to exhibit their work. Coincidentally, I do get calls from both trauma centers and inner city schools to display art; it seems these groups identify with the emotions of the work. This project is in the works.
3. Why are you doing this lecture series now?
I am at a point in my life of greater self-awareness and understanding of the world around me. Whether it is my age or the fact that I simply am able to now, I feel compelled to fulfill obligations that I believe society has neglected. As a person living with trauma I have evolved to a place where this work helps to fill a void by turning a negative experience into something positive.
4. Have you been painting and lecturing a long time and if so, where?
Of course I've been dealing with trauma most of my life, but the realization of being able to do something about it by helping others jelled in the mid-'90s during what I call a "close encounter" moment.
5. Can you treat some one I know who is suffering from P.T.S.D.?
First of all, treat is the wrong word, understand would be more appropriate. Second, I don't claim to be a professional at helping anyone, I can only relay my experiences of how others and I have dealt with trauma and P.T.S.D. through therapeutic art and communication.
6. What kind of reaction do you receive to your lectures and workshops?
Awe struck would be the words I would use. Most of my audiences are clearly overwhelmed by my presentations and the artwork. Through the correspondence I receive, I know people are moved by this subject matter and many are being helped to face their traumas. (Please view "Letters of Recommendation" at the end of this page.)
7. Where does the money go?
All donations will be used to offset the expenses associated with the website, lectures, presentations, exhibits and eventually a new art gallery, which will be available to all learning institutions.
8. Why focus on the younger generation?
In 2000, I coordinated the New York leg of an international art show on a world tour for 5 weeks. During this time the biggest response I received was "I DIDN'T KNOW THAT" and it came from the younger generation. I realized at that time that our children where not being taught about Vietnam or at least the true story.
9. Do you find opposition to your work?
I wouldn't call it opposition but rather skepticism. Due to the "phenomenon of silence" surrounding both the Vietnam War and the post Vietnam War era, even our younger teachers are unaware of the facts. My art displays and lectures force the younger generation to go home and question their family about the subject thus opening a dialogue.
10. What do we need to supply for your lectures?
A VCR and TV or a projection system and ample space for art. Each session includes a video presentation, artwork, and open discussions and it is customized to meet your needs according to subject matter, time and space available.
11. How can we learn more about this era and others that have been effected by it?
Currently I am working on publishing my novel "The Evolution of Man". It covers, in greater detail, the many issues and questions that still remain from this historic era. Check back often for updates on its publishing progress.
12. Are you active in veterans groups?
I am a member in good standing of the following organizations:
Veterans Art Museum
I am listed as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemicals for contamination of Agent Orange.
© 2001 Vietnam Artwork