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MTSU Daniels Center hosts Vietnam veterans’ art ex...

MTSU Daniels Center hosts Vietnam veterans’ art exhibit in KUC

The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University is partnering with the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center in Hendersonville, Tennessee, to host a 60-piece art exhibit that coincides with the nation’s Veterans Day and this year’s 40th annual Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces game.

The exhibit — “Vietnam: 2 Soldiers, 2 Artists, 2 Journeys Then and Now” — officially opens Friday, Nov. 11, in the second-floor lobby of the Keathley University Center, located in the center of campus at 1524 Military Memorial Drive and continues through the end of the fall semester in early December.

It is free and open to the public and university community.

MTSU alumnus Bud Morris, left, and Betty Struzick, VA clinical social worker in the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, take a quick glance at the book she purchased showing the artwork by Gallatin, Tenn., residents David Wright and Chuck Creasy. Both served in the military in Vietnam in the 1960s. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)
MTSU alumnus and U.S. Army veteran Bud Morris, left, and Betty Struzick, VA clinical social worker in the university’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, take a quick glance at the book she purchased showing the artwork by Gallatin, Tenn., residents David Wright and Chuck Creasy. Both artists served in the military in Vietnam in the 1960s. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

It is the story of two brave soldiers, David Wright and Chuck Creasy, both from Gallatin, Tennessee, who battled their way into the world of art, trading the tools of war for the tools of a far less deadly trade.

“Whether it’s Wright and his historically researched paintings of classic American history or Creasy’s watercolor works of subjects from the jungles of Honduras to the hidden backroads of rural Tennessee, your senses are in for a treat,” a release from the Monthaven Center, where the exhibit premiered in 2021, states.

“This memorable, one-of-a-kind exhibit features highlights of both artists’ best work from Vietnam: David, from sketches and drawings done in-country during his deployment, and Chuck, from a much-anticipated trip back to Vietnam, 50 years older and a lifetime wiser.”

A partial sampling of watercolor artwork by Chuck Creasy of Gallatin, Tenn. His work and that of David Wright of Gallatin will be on display in the MTSU Keathley University Center second-floor lobby until the end of the semester. (MTSU photo by Chris Rochelle)
A sampling of watercolors by Chuck Creasy of Gallatin, Tenn., hangs in the second-floor lobby of MTSU’s Keathley University Center. Artwork by Creasy and his fellow Vietnam veteran David Wright, also of Gallatin, will be on display in the KUC until the end of the semester as a special exhibit co-sponsored by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. (MTSU photo by Chris Rochelle)

“They have been lifelong friends who served in Vietnam,” Cheryl Strichik, Monthaven director, said of the artists.

An artists’ reception with Wright and Creasy will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in the KUC venue and the Daniels Center. Visitors can contact Daniels Center Director Hilary Miller at Hilary.Miller@mtsu.edu to schedule a visit, arrange for a parking pass or for more information.

The late country music legend Charlie Daniels wrote the forward to Wright and Creasy’s art book, “Vietnam: 2 Soldiers, 2 Artists, 2 Journeys Then and Now.”

Daniels and his wife, Hazel, donated $50,000 to help equip MTSU’S Veterans and Military Family Center as it prepared to open in 2015. The university named the center for the couple the following year as thanks for their lengthy support.

The veterans’ exhibit arrived at MTSU after a showing at the Virginia War Memorial Museum in Richmond and the Customs House in Clarksville, Tennessee.

The Daniels Center is the largest dedicated space for student veterans on a Tennessee higher education campus and serves more than 1,000 military-connected students on campus as a one-stop shop to meet a variety of academic needs.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

David Wright, left, and Chuck Creasy, who share their story in “Vietnam: 2 Soldiers, 2 Artists, 2 Journeys Then and Now,” will be on the MTSU campus Monday, Nov. 21, to talk about their veterans-to-artists lives. Both live in Gallatin, Tenn., and served in Vietnam in the 1960s. (Submitted photo)
David Wright, left, and Chuck Creasy, who share their story in “Vietnam: 2 Soldiers, 2 Artists, 2 Journeys Then and Now,” will be on the MTSU campus Tuesday, Nov. 22, to talk about their veterans-to-artists lives. Both live in Gallatin, Tenn., and served in Vietnam in the 1960s. (Submitted photo)


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