KENT COUNTY, Mich. — This month, 21 military veterans are teaming up to unveil a special Artprize exhibition.
The collaborative display, VOICES, is set to be installed by the artists in Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept. 11.
"It's going to be exciting time, but also an emotional time for us," said Walter V. Marshall, one of the artists. "When I joined the Marines, you know, I was a kid, you know, and a year later, we had 9/11... I never wanted to go to war. But, you know, a lot of us, you know, still have memories of war. You know, a lot of pain, physical and mental...things that we're still wrestling with."
For Marshall, and other participants, art has been healing.
The Iraq war veteran will be displaying his project called SteepleChase.
Marshall, a Detroit native, traveled across the state photographing church steeples for the piece.
"I think a big part of my exhibit is to just encourage people to be more in their communities. And you know, for me, I'm trying to be a peacemaker in this world that I live in," he told FOX 17. "My photographs, I'm hoping they will bring a sense of calmness, a sense of hope, and inspire others. So I'm excited about it."
ArtPrize runs Sept. 16 through Oct. 3 at venues around the city of Grand Rapids.
A grand opening of the VOICES exhibit is set for Saturday, Sept. 18 from 12:30-3 p.m, with live music, children's entertainment, food, an air show and and color guard sponsored by Comerica.
Veterans Memorial Park is located at 101 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI.