The UCF Community Veterans History Project and UCF Veterans Academic Resource Center recently hosted a “Lunch and Learn” with Kevin Haran, UCF Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Design. As part his art exhibition Materiel: Sculptures and Works on Paper, Haran discussed his influences and methods of creating warfare-themed artwork.
While not a veteran himself, several of Haran’s family members served in the US military. His parents met in Europe during the Second World War. His mother had been a military nurse and his father an artilleryman. Two of his brothers fought in the Vietnam War. He noted that other family members had served in the military as well.
Several of Haran’s artworks deal with events or aspects of his family’s service in the military. He created a representation of a hospital boat his mother had rode from Europe to North America. He displayed a painting, based on a period photo, of his father firing an artillery piece. Another series of paintings represent a dangerous flight mission his brother had flown during the Vietnam War.
Haran works in several different media and draws from a range of techniques and art concepts. Many of the pieces displayed at the event were sculptures of military vehicles and aircraft, created with cardboard and other common materials. Haran noted that he takes two broad approaches to these kinds of pieces. One approach strives for a degree of realism, with colors and shapes on-scale with the real thing. The other, Haran noted, is more of a pop-art approach, with imaginative combinations of colors often using cereal boxes and other boxed food packaging.
Haran’s artwork illustrates a deep love for his family members and respect their service. The UCF Community Veterans History Project and the Veterans Academic Resource Center are proud to honor those who serve, have served and families of military service members.