Photographs of veterans at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York

ByDavid M. Conte

May 26, 2022

Learning to photograph, says US Army veteran Anny Mariano, “constantly reminds me that there is beauty and artistry all around me, even in the darkest of times.” Mariano and 22 other veterans who participated in workshops with the Josephine Herrick Project from 2018 to 2022 will showcase their work in an upcoming exhibit, At Ease: Photographs by Military Veterans in New York, held at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan ( just north of Harlem).

For photographers, the camera has become a means to find new avenues of self-expression and to connect with the world around them.

Filtered through their experiences and seen through their lenses, New York becomes a place of peace, even in its most frenetic form.

The photographers of this exhibition — Abel Solis, Adam Duncan, Alfredo Garcia, Anny Mariano, Carl Johnson, Cesar J. Martinez Jr., Christopher Sullivan, David McMillan, Dondi McKellar, Ed Ventura, Erik Martinez, Jacob Merino, Jon-Pierre Kelani , Joseph Kosinsky, Levi L. Jeffers, Linda D. Catlett, Michelle Heirs, Owen Davis, Scottie Daniels, Sean M. Fitzthum, Terry Karney, Vernon Hall and Virginia Goodno – come to photography from a wide variety of experiences.

Since 2018, the Josephine Herrick Project has been working with the Bronx and Harlem Veterinary Centers (agencies of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs) to teach the basics of photography and visual literacy to groups of veterans, most of whom are survivors of service-related violence.

These images were selected from work produced in these hands-on workshops in New York, the majority from 2020-2021.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has created a deep sense of physical isolation and loss, these veterans have continued to meet online with occasional in-person outdoor sessions.

The work reflects the experience of veterans, not just of trauma, but of healing and resilience.

“We are honored to share with us a selection of the many photographs New York City veterans have taken in recent years,” said Miriam Leuchter, executive director of the Josephine Herrick Project. “Seeing this work in the context of a historic home with deep military roots resonates with the notions of home and history captured in these photographs.”

The exhibit also features the work of workshops held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Foundation, where over the course of three years groups of veterans from New York were brought to the historic site to explore the site of the battle while reflecting on their own internal sense of consequences.

The exhibition will be visible from June 16 to September 11, 2022, during museum opening hours, Friday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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There will be a free Community Open House on Saturday, June 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

Additionally, teacher artists from the Josephine Herrick Project will be offering a special series of summer photography workshops at the mansion for children ages 8-12 from July 18-20, 2022.

For exhibition tickets, information and events, visit

At ease: photographs of veterans in New York is organized by the Josephine Herrick Project in collaboration with the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum.

This exhibit has been made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and Legislature of New York State, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development in partnership with the City Council. The main private support came from the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

Josephine Herrick Project

Taking photographs transforms people’s lives. For eight decades, the Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) has done just that. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in New York City, it teaches photography and exhibits the work of people from a wide range of disadvantaged communities.

JHP’s program participants include children from culturally diverse and low-income neighborhoods; immigrant and refugee adolescents; young people and adults with cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities; military veterans; vulnerable elderly; and people of all ages living in public housing.

The organization shows their photographs in public spaces and places, including cafes, libraries, galleries, streets and parks, both in the communities where they live, study or work and outside their neighborhoods. , where they can attract a larger and more diverse audience. their work.

Morris Jumel Manor

As Manhattan’s oldest residence, the Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765, preserves, collects and interprets history, culture and the arts to explore inclusive narratives that engage and inspire diverse audiences.

As one of the most important historic house museums in the country, the organization enables the public to make relevant contemporary connections to the stories of the mansion, its collections, the land and its people, past and present. .

The museum is open to the public and welcomes visitors for site tours, programs and community events throughout the year.

More information can be found at

Photo Credit: 1) Dondi McKellar Forward Thinker Emancipation Proclamation Black Lives Matter_2017. 2) Terry Karney The Things We Wore 2019. 3) Jacob Merino – Second Pillar_2021.

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