Student Voice

Patriotic art gallery visits Moorpark College

Dr.+Amanuel+Gebru%2C+dean+of+behavioral+sciences+%28left%29%2C+Mike+Strahle%2C+Eyes+of+Freedom+director+%28center%29%2C+and+Dr.+Bernard+Luskin%2C+Ventura+Community+College+District+chancellor+%28right%29%2C+pose+in+front+of+one+of+the+paintings+in+the+gallery.+The+Eyes+of+Freedom+gallery+was+set+up+in+the+campus+center+from+March+27+to+31.+Photo+credit%3A+Mary+Altshuller
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Patriotic art gallery visits Moorpark College

Dr. Amanuel Gebru, dean of behavioral sciences (left), Mike Strahle, Eyes of Freedom director (center), and Dr. Bernard Luskin, Ventura Community College District chancellor (right), pose in front of one of the paintings in the gallery. The Eyes of Freedom gallery was set up in the campus center from March 27 to 31. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Dr. Amanuel Gebru, dean of behavioral sciences (left), Mike Strahle, Eyes of Freedom director (center), and Dr. Bernard Luskin, Ventura Community College District chancellor (right), pose in front of one of the paintings in the gallery. The Eyes of Freedom gallery was set up in the campus center from March 27 to 31. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Dr. Amanuel Gebru, dean of behavioral sciences (left), Mike Strahle, Eyes of Freedom director (center), and Dr. Bernard Luskin, Ventura Community College District chancellor (right), pose in front of one of the paintings in the gallery. The Eyes of Freedom gallery was set up in the campus center from March 27 to 31. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Dr. Amanuel Gebru, dean of behavioral sciences (left), Mike Strahle, Eyes of Freedom director (center), and Dr. Bernard Luskin, Ventura Community College District chancellor (right), pose in front of one of the paintings in the gallery. The Eyes of Freedom gallery was set up in the campus center from March 27 to 31. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

By Mary Altshuller

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The traveling art display, Eyes of Freedom, came to Moorpark College during the week of March 27. The gallery showcased an artist’s vision of what soldiers have faced on the battlefields of Iraq.

“It’s moving, yet it’s a sobering reminder of the profound loss in protecting our freedoms,” said Moorpark College president Luis Sanchez.

The paintings of U. S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen were depicted against various backgrounds. Some had their helmets and goggles on. Others were standing against an idyllic background wearing only pants, boots, and t-shirts. Still another painting showed three men against a backdrop of a red and orange explosion.

Former Ohio resident, mother, and artist Anita Miller, Eyes of Freedom is a way to honor those from Lima Company 3/25 of Columbus, Ohio, who lost their lives in Iraq.

According to Miller, it all started when she saw a front page article in the Columbus Dispatch that depicted Marines having been severely beaten and killed in the line of duty. Miller was not a professional artist, just a hobbyist, but she couldn’t get the image of some of these men out of her mind. She knew she had to paint them.

“I woke up one morning, went downstairs to have a cup of coffee and read the morning paper,” said Miller. “There on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch were pictures of all these men who were killed. My heart just cried like everyone else’s.”

This display was set up in the Campus Center lobby of Moorpark College. It started on Monday, March 27, with an outdoor reception on the quad stage. Multiple speakers included college president Luis Sanchez who attended the reception that ended with light refreshments in the campus center.

“We had an awesome escort in,” said Mike Strahle, head of public affairs for Lima Company Memorial. “We’ve had a hell of a week.”

Motorcyclists from the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle club volunteered to lead the way in a motorcade with four U.S. flags flying as the 18-wheeler, provided by the freight carrier company R & L Carriers, brought the artwork in.

Jim Jacobs of Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) led the motorcade for an hour as it left Antelope Valley College to Moorpark College. PGR organized the ride to escort R & L Carriers. They have performed similar rides before.

“It makes us feel really patriotic and it comes from the heart,” said Jacobs.

Upon entering the lobby of the Campus Center, one could see a red banner on a small podium of the United States Marine Corps with its logo in the center. Visitors were encouraged to write messages on it.

Devin Williams, a 20-year-old health science major was viewing the art displays.

“I wanted to view the displays, to look at them and feel my support for our guys who lost their lives, the ones who defend the U. S,” said Williams.

The traveling art display has moved on to Oxnard College and will later stop at Ventura College.

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About the Writer
Mary Altshuller, Copy editor

Mary Altshuller is the Student Voice's long-serving copy editor. This is her fourth semester on the newspaper staff, where she has also worked as a reporter...

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