Honoring Veterans at Merchants and Artists Walk

The Marietta Community Foundation, Marietta Main Street, Marietta City Schools and local veterans are coming together for the next Merchants and Artists Walk on Friday, November 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Marietta and Harmar Village.

The event is all about celebrating the area’s unique local businesses in the downtown shopping district while featuring local art, music, craftsmanship and more. This time that ‘more’ is all about the celebration and recognition of local veterans.

In partnership with Marietta Main Street the Marietta Community Foundation has connected local veterans with area art students at Marietta High School as part of a veterans’ portrait project that will be showcased at the Merchants and Artists Walk.

“This is not the first time the Foundation has highlighted artwork from the high school during an event,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “The veterans focused Merchants and Artist Walk is a great chance for students to learn more about our veterans and bring new generations of the community together.”

To date, three area veterans have come to speak to the Marietta High School art class, led by teacher Heath Rader. The veteran volunteers shared their deeply personal experiences with students to provide a firsthand account of the daily realities they faced while in the service. After hearing these moving tales, students were then charged with the creation of portraits based on the veterans.

According to Rader, hearing the firsthand accounts of veterans has helped students understand not only the difficulties they have faced but also the unique comradery that is formed between veterans. “Students in my class get to see the human element. They gain emotional depth for their artwork which is the difference between good art and great,” said Rader.

The upcoming event is all about the community joining together to support one another. “This event is a truly unique opportunity to come out and support not just our merchants and artists, but also the student artists and our veterans,” said Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street.