From 2015 through 2018, Llewellyn was the Artistic Director and Instructor for Image Nation, a collaboration between Nevada County Arts Council and Welcome Home Vets, whose purpose was to draw together veterans and the community through photography.
The reintegration of veterans into civilian life is a vitally important task for the community. Reintegration is a complex, multi-stage process, which can take many years. An important element for the successful and healthy returnee is the opportunity, when ready, to tell his or her story to a listening community. The intention of Image Nation has been to give veterans the opportunity to tell their stories through a unique and powerful visual medium.
A U.S. Veteran himself, Llewellyn provided participating veterans instruction in photography over a three-year period, sending each on assignment to document their worlds. Simultaneously, Llewellyn created character studies of each veteran. The process enabled participants to see their world from a new perspective and the culminating exhibition of both the veterans’ works and Llewellyn’s portraits allowed our community to perceive veterans in a new light.
Thanks to the generosity of Larry and Brenda Hoyle, Image Nation resides in the form of an online e-commerce gallery, where veteran alumni can display and sell their work, with all profits benefitting them and ensuring Image Nation's legacy in perpetuity.
exhibits and installations
Image Nation resulted in three public exhibitions. In 2016 and 2018 Image Nation was installed at the Rood Center, Nevada County California’s headquarters and in 2017 at the Truckee-Donner Recreation Center, Truckee, California. Each exhibit featured free-standing and floating gallery walls and walk through presentations. All lighting, design and fabrication by M. Llewellyn.
Open to the public for three months each, the exhibits were built to showcase the artistic work of veterans in the community while complementing the soaring structure and light of the existing architecture of each space.
“We believe that artists illuminate truth, offer transcendent experience in a literal world, create raw material for science, challenge us to see and feel, and connect us to the most critical issues known today. They connect us to our common humanity.”
Rood Center, Nevada County Seat, Nevada City, California, 2018