I was honored to participate in an amazing event, “Saint Javelin: Art, Faith and Mobilization”, at The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, where my Saint Javelin painting has been on exhibit since last year.    

I joined a panel alongside Museum and Memorial Specialist Curator Patricia Cecil, President and CEO Matthew Naylor, and Christian Borys, founder of the Saint Javelin corporation, who has raised more than 2 million dollars to aid Ukraine.  

We engaged in an enlightening conversation addressing the contemporary parallels, through religious iconography, between WWI and the rise of Saint Javelin as a modern “War Icon” amid the present-day conflict in Ukraine.  With Saint Javelin as a topic, we discussed her creation as well as her historic predecessors, focusing on art, faith and mobilization amid catastrophe.  While I don’t think Saint Javelin will ever be a Joan of Arc, she was definitely in good company amid the conversation.

‘Saint Javelin: Art, Faith and Mobilization’ can be viewed on YouTube below.

Fox4 News in Kansas City, did a segment on the event – Thank you Kevin Barry.

Following the panel was a beautifully adorned reception at the museum, organized in partnership with Stand With Ukraine KC.  I truly enjoyed meeting people and having some heartfelt conversations about Ukraine and Saint Javelin. Thanks to everyone who came out despite the heat.

I visited the museum twice on my visit.  The first,  was a solemn and horrific reminder of the Horrors of War, modern weapons, and truly terrible machines.  As the artist, I’ve said Saint Javelin’s proximity to these horrors has always been a disturbing facet of the image for me.  My second visit, (and amazing tour by curator Patricia Cecil) brought a much different and more humanized perspective, with an exploration how soldiers (and the world) coped with war’s horrors as well as some of the art and creativity that emerged – the many parallels to the modern phenomenon of Saint Javelin’s image, use, and various meanings were impossible to ignore. 

Ultimately, my visit to the National World War I Museum and Memorial brought a deeper perspective on how the Saint Javelin art and image has, and can, affect people amid this senseless war in Ukraine. Saint Javelin lives a life of her own, meaning many things to many people, she is a stark reminder of the power of art & image.  She now exists in many forms, from pixels and stickers, to art made from paint, stained glass, or recycled artillery brass.  She is a protector and symbol of resistance to Ukraine, while being a deeply subversive image in Russia. She is blasphemy to some and a symbol of strength and hope for others.  As her creator, at the root, the image’s many forms over the years has always been about freedom and democracy – I want her to do good things.

A huge thank you to Christian Borys, Patricia Cecil, and Dr. Matthew Naylor on the panel, as well as everyone at the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Stand With Ukraine KC for a beautiful event.  Thanks to Paige for her efforts and the fantastic photos, and of course the KC Fellas, and NAFO for turning out strong.

My original Saint Javelin icon will be on display at the National World War I Museum and Memorial until September 10, 2023. 

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