15:10 PM

Artists in Arms showcases works of veterans in UHCL's Art Gallery exhibition

Artists in Arms, a newly-formed Houston nonprofit organization dedicated to providing veterans a place to explore their voice in artistic communities, is displaying its first-ever exhibition at University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Art Gallery, opening May 22.

Army veteran Katie Graham’s work reflects her love of costume construction, design and performance. She loves to participate in the Texas Renaissance Festival, and created two intricate costumes that are on view.

Each costume took over four months to complete.

“I have Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk who was also King Henry VIII’s good friend,” she said. “He was married to King Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, who was his third wife. He was a scoundrel and a rogue, so he’s a lot of fun to play. I’ve played him at the Renaissance Festival for about a year.”

Graham said she’s worn the second costume for about three years at the festival as the Queen of Hearts. “There’s a lot of hand stitching and beadwork in this one,” she said. “It’s made of cotton velveteen and polyester brocade. You might not believe it, but it’s all machine washable!”

She added that she was very happy to be part of Artists in Arms. “It's cool to attack a project with other artists with similar experiences,” she said. “I feel connected to the other artists who are veterans as well, and it feels very comfortable to me.”

The works of five artist-veterans from across all media are on display in the exhibition.  Two of the artists are family members of veterans. For more information about UHCL’s Art Gallery, visit www.uhcl.edu/art-gallery/