MY ART STORY by

John Olbrantz

Salem
Oregon

In the late 1980s, I organized an exhibition entitled A Different War: Vietnam in Art with arts activist and writer Lucy Lippard. The exhibition was presented at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art in Bellingham, Washington, in 1989 and traveled for two years under the auspices of Independent Curators, Inc. The exhibition, which was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was the first critical examination of the Vietnam War on contemporary American art and had a profound impact on those who saw it. Indeed, the exhibition and accompanying book had a cathartic effect on Vietnam veterans and others at a time when we, as a nation, were finally beginning to talk about Vietnam and come to grips with one of the most divisive and controversial wars in our history.