A shattered mirror sits on the floor in the Corcoran College of Art and Design.
Between the fragmented glass it reads, “The words in my head are a reflection of my environment whether good or bad,” in black handwriting.
The striking piece is part of the Corcoran’s newest exhibit, “The Gray Area: Living in Transition,” which explores the adjustment from military to civilian life and the way the line between the two worlds can blur.
“The Gray Area,” presented by a group of veterans within the Corcoran community, opened this month in Gallery 31. Though they come from different branches and backgrounds, the veterans joined to express their personal narratives for the showcase featuring mediums such as photography, film, paint and animation.
Veteran and artist Heather Muniz described her work as “a manifestation of the emotional places I have been – the confusion, sadness and anger of the experience.”
The works convey the doubts the artists have experienced as they leave the regimented life of service and war and reenter their homes. Whether through tattoos, like Robert Lliteras, or by examining small details in everyday life, like Jonathan Fields, the veterans all channel the struggles of re-assimilation into civilian life.
With “Therapy in Blood and Ink,” Lliteras shows how he experienced depression not from the horrors of war, but from the lack of it. He began to deal with withdrawal by getting tattoos.
Meanwhile, Fields said his piece, a collection of three silver gelatin prints, is meant to remind him to pay attention to small details that help him stay grounded in his surroundings outside of the military community.
These works, among others, will be on display until July 20. Admission is free, and the Corcoran’s hours of operation are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located on 1500 17th St. NW.