Art Exhibition Features Gustavus Students in the ROTC

Posted on March 22nd, 2010 by

Ann Martin '68 working on her portraits of Gustavus students in the ROTC. (Photo by Jaime Farel '10)

“Who We Are: Sight, Silence, War,” an exhibition featuring 14 watercolor portraits of current Gustavus Adolphus College students who participate in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), is now on display in the upstairs hallway of the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center at Gustavus. The paintings will be on display until May 8. 

The artwork was created by Ann Martin ’68, currently a resident of southwest Cork, Ireland.  Martin, who grew up in Omaha, Neb., believes in the humanist power of art and that it has the ability to make a difference in people’s lives.  She hopes this exhibition sparks a dialogue about America’s commitments overseas. Through the portraits of Gustavus ROTC students, Martin emphasizes the roles and pressures these students face.

“This exhibition is an acknowledgement of the human cost. It is a statement of hope that these people, educated in the humanist tradition of the liberal arts within the framework of Judeo-Christian tradition, can help focus military decisions affecting all our lives,” Martin said while she was hanging the art. “Never have so many expectations been placed on the shoulders of so few.”

Gustavus sophomore Brian Campbell standing next to his portrait.

Being a student in the 1960s put Martin face to face with the attitudes of those returning from Vietnam and Indochina. Concerned by the public attitudes of that time, Martin said of these 2010 ROTC students: “My ultimate goal would be to guarantee their acceptance…to welcome them back and enfold them willingly in the society they sought to serve.”

Martin will return to Gustavus next winter to mount an exhibition in the College’s Hillstrom Museum of Art in February 2011.

Here is a short You Tube video with an interview of Ann Martin ’68:


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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