Giving old uniforms a new life, Frontline Arts on building community through papermaking

Wit chats with Frontline Arts executive director, Rachel Heberling, and Frontline board member and army veteran, Tara Krause, about the mission of their organization. Originally called Combat Paper, Frontline Arts helps veterans turn old uniforms into paper! In this 42-minute Veteran’s Day episode of Artblog Radio, Tara and Rachel share the ins and outs of the Frontline Arts and its programming. HUGE shoutout to Kyle Mckay for our new Artblog Radio intro and outro music!

Tara Krause (left) and Rachel Heberling (right) of Frontline Arts. Photo courtesy Wit López, edited by Morgan Nitz.
Tara Krause (left) and Rachel Heberling (right) of Frontline Arts. Photo courtesy Wit López, edited by Morgan Nitz.

In observance of Veteran’s Day, our Managing Editor, Wit López, reached out to two organizations that are using the arts as a way to build community between veterans and non-veterans. First up in this podcast mini-series: Frontline Arts in Branchburg, New Jersey! Wit speaks with Rachel Heberling and Tara Krause about their experiences working at Frontline Arts and how they explore the mission of the organization by making paper out of old uniforms. If you’re in the Branchburg, New Jersey metro area, be sure to stop by Frontline Arts to visit the exhibition “The War on the World” which will be on display in their 2nd floor gallery until November 17, 2019!

Many thanks to Kyle McKay for the new musical intro and outro for Artblog Radio episodes!

Wit López: Hello and welcome to another episode of Artblog radio. I’m your host for today Wit López. I am super excited to be sitting in the gallery at Frontline Arts in Branchburg, New Jersey, surrounded by an exhibition called The War on the World, which runs from October 17th until November 17th so you still have time to come out here and see it.


I’m accompanied by right now, Tara Krause and Rachel Heberling who are affiliated with the organization. Rachel is the executive director, and Tara is a member of the board of directors. So welcome to the show.

Rachel Heberling: Thanks so much for having us Wit! We really appreciate you coming in today.

Wit López: No, thank YOU!


Tara Krause: This is so exciting, Wit. To be part of Art blog, to be part of just what you’re doing in your own connective arts.

Wit López: Oh, thank you. No, I’ve been, I’ve been a fan of the work that Frontline does for a while. Um, I mean, I had a presentation when I was at the, in the master’s program of arts administration at Drexel university a couple of years back.

I got a presentation about Frontline Arts, and I was absolutely smitten with the work that’s being done here. And so I really, really think that it’s so important. So can you tell me a little about, a little bit about the mission behind Frontline Arts?


Rachel Heberling: Sure. Um, our mission is to connect and build communities through socially engaging arts practices, rooting in printmaking and paper making.

Um, so that’s really our motto and we’ll get more in-depth about it today, but our, our focus now, since we’re basically two organizations that merged the Printmaking Center, formerly council of New Jersey since 1973-

Wit López: Wow.

Rachel Heberling: merged with Frontline Arts in fall of 2017 which came out of Combat Paper, New Jersey, a veterans program where we make paper out of military uniforms.

And so we’re really focused on connecting veterans and non-veterans in our community here. Our whole original core member group of printmakers and all of our veterans and paper makers have come together.

Wit López: That’s really amazing. That’s really amazing. So can you, can you tell me a little bit more about Combat… Combat Paper and how that came about as an organization, if you’re comfortable with speaking about that?

Rachel Heberling: Sure, absolutely. I’ll just say quickly that it really started here in about 2011. Um, Linda Helm Krapf, which was one of our former Executive Directors help to bring in the group with some of our original founders, like David Keefe, who’s now the president of the board. Um, Eli Wright. And, uh, Walt Nygaard came on early and he’s our Frontline Paper manager and main paper maker here every week.
And the group has just continued to grow ever since. And, uh, I personally have been here since 2014 as the Studio Manager and just became the E.D. This April after Manda Gorsegner stepped down. Who gave the presentation to you at Drexel! Um, and Tara has been with us for a couple of years. I’m coming straight into the Frontline Paper program where we have an open studio every Sunday, free for veterans, basically.

Wit López: Wonderful!

Rachel Heberling: For, you know, since 2011. And we also do mobile workshops, all over the country. So we’ll, we’ll talk more about some of those workshops too. But I want to hand this over to Tara to talk from the veteran’s perspective.

Tara Krause: Thank you, Rachel. Um, I think it’s very special. I, I had seen- actually when I was in the VA hospital lions, um, one time, in one of the bands, I saw this sign that said Print Council, New Jersey. And I, I looked at it long longingly, and said, one day I’m going to. Well, I came for a class that Rachel was giving- I think on dry point etching- it was a, it was a beautiful technical class. So, you know, the guts of etching.

Um, and then I found out that there were veterans here! And I came in on the Sunday program and it was like I came home! That these were, these were, I mean, we have, um, vets from either from, ranging, from, um, early Vietnam to guys that are fresh home, um, you know, from Iraq and Afghanistan.

And to be able to create alongside of them, and when we, um, work with the uniforms, is truly extraordinary! Because the whole process of deconstructing, like, give you two, two examples. Um. Of working with the uniforms and we’ve done everything from what world war one coastal artillery, the jodhpurs, to to actually some of the uniforms- one uniforms I was um, oh using a seam ripper to, um, work the cuff, you know, so that we can get the fabric and cause we have to cut it down. We have to take the uniform and cut out the seams and get it down to postage size. Um, you know, little slips of cloth. Um, and in it I came across this red stitching, um, in this hem of the sleeve and in it was some pebbles.

Wit López: Like rocks?

Tara Krause: Like rocks. That somebody had lovingly sewn into their uniform, we would get and to, you know, why did they sew it in? Did one of their buddies die that day beside that? And that was his way, you know? Was it- what was it? Because obviously it was a symbolic act. It was red thread. Um, other times we’ve found we found a medal in one of them.

Um, you would find cigar butts and, and, um, lots of sand, a lot of sand as you’d be going into it. And in fact, it’s a secret act. It’s a sacred deconstruction where it started when, um, oh, Eli Wright and the whole original cohort of veterans found, you know, discovered this process where they were ripping their uniforms in a ritual. Um, and deconstructing it actually, and, and you would think that it was transgressive, but because it’s such a symbolic cloth that’s killed and has been killed and holds the suffering within the textile, when you cut it up, there’s a releasing of that energy. And then we put it through a beater, and then, um, the pulp and that, that old very loud, you know, grinding type of thing. But then you put that pulp that these uniforms turn into it, which I guess if you haven’t pulped paper, it looks like dryer lint that would be wet. Okay, it’s gobs. You know, sometimes if it’s colored, it looks like, I don’t know, hamburger or something, but it would be this gray gray, um, glop, and they go into the big vats of, um, water. And then, you start with your hands going through the water. And, and to me it is a ritual bath. Um, one little– Walt was telling the story the other day.

One little boy couldn’t control himself. He was just so excited. He wanted to put his hands in the vat water and both Walt said, of course. You know what I mean? That’s the whole thing, is that we’re taking this in bodily, only to reform it for expression. So this little boy plunges his hands in- and it’s so cold because it’s a wet environment.

And then he says, it’s like putting my hand in the clouds.

Wit López: Oh, that’s so sweet.

Tara Krause: Oh, you know, and, and you will, we did um- shall we share under pulping?

Rachel Heberling: We might as well.

Tara Krause: Yeah. I mean, we did- we’re, we’re always trying to come up with new projects. It’s kind of like our migration project with, um, Oh, um, the Bronx museum.

And, um. Ah, CantoMundo, um, in partnership for the migration we’ve been trying to work on. And I an idea of, um, what could we do in Under pulping and taking- it’s about violence against women and children and men. Um, and so we called the under pulping, and the idea is you pulp your underwear, and then you make art of that.

Well, I took some of my VA pajamas from the hospital that are bright pink, it’s called, I forget what- Miller pin and it’s specifically, it was developed by the Navy. To, um, subdue men in prison. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s, and there’s actually a Pantone color number. We found that out. So in cutting up-

Wit López: This is new information for me.

Tara Krause: the VA psych pajamas, we had this vat and we were doing it right during the Kavenaugh Senate hearing, you know, Senate confirmation hearing where they were destroying one more woman’s voice that had come forward. Um, and we were just, you know, I mean, it’s still beautiful to put our hands in this vat and take apart the threads of, uh, violence and then remake, make this beautiful tissue. Like, I mean, you could feel the difference in our paper, whether it was, um, we’ve had one workshop that worked with Syrian refugees and one woman had made and gave the cloth of her shirt that she wore in fleeing.

Wit López: Oh, wow.

Tara Krause: And she cut it up and made paper then created out of it. Whoa. And then spoke her glory upon that paper.

Wit López: Wow.

Tara Krause: Um, and, and to me, it, it always, it’s amazing because so many marginalized- I mean, the idea within the veterans is the notion of silent veterans. You go to war, you come back to, you don’t talk about it. Um, you, you don’t bear your own wounds and you don’t hold anybody accountable.

Wit López: Oh, wow.

Tara Krause: And you are housebroken and march in line. Um, and we all know stories about, um, veterans of other, um, other wars, the, you know, the great wars, um, where the men were silent. Then people that fell through the cracks, kind of homeless and, and all that, and that was suffering in the darkness and marginalized.

So this whole idea about finding our marginalized voices.

Wit López: Absolutely.

Tara Krause: And this is where the, the bringing veterans and non-veterans together- communities- all of these marginalized people from different perspectives. And to be able then to tell each other our stories and create art out of it. We find this commonality and we, we find, we find the poetry in our narratives.

So I went on, I could keep on telling these stories because. It’s amazing. I mean–

Wit López: You’re welcome to!

Tara Krause: I will say something, I’ll in interject some feminist art into this. We were, we were, we had a big stack of the uniforms, you know, that had come in and, and we’re trying to get ready, make, make paper and, and Walt Nygaard was leading us through, um, trying to get us to cut faster.

And, and, and then Eli Wright was there and he was a combat medic. So we was like, no, don’t use the rotary, you cannot use the rotary, um, tool. I don’t want anybody, you know, bleeding out on my–

Wit López: Oh my goodness.

Tara Krause: My textile table. Um, so, so we were all set up in the stations and there were the three of us um, cutting the scenes so that another group could come. Well, as it turned out, we were cutting the crotches out of these uniforms, and I was doing it for about 20 minutes. You know, just all of us going, you know, working as a team, you know, knocking it out and all of a sudden, it was like- we’re cutting the crotches out of these uniforms.

And for a disabled woman that. has survived military sexual trauma, that was a weird, weird, I mean, you know, nothing that we, and the guys kind of looked at me with… They dropped their jaws too, cause I did myself. Um, and the beauty of this community that once I said it, people took a breath.

I mean they laughed first because it’s, well, it could be a feminist art joke. Um, you know, and, and juggling the humor of paradox, um, and trying to get that joy in. Um-

Wit López: Absolutely, absolutely.

Tara Krause: but then they all took a breath and they would go, yeah. And then we’d go back to work, but this, that taking a breath and going. Yeah. When you hear somebody-

Wit López: That acknowledgement.

Tara Krause: Yeah. Just because it flows out of you. I mean, that’s the beauty of Frontline Arts and the paper processes. So let me- you might want to-

Rachel Heberling: It’s just amazing the weight that a piece of clothing has.

Wit López: Absolutely.

Rachel Heberling: A lot of the, the transformation is, is taking an object that has, you know, it’s been through so much and it holds so many connotations. And, um, you know, even going back to what you were mentioning with the, the under pulping, I mean, that’s an interesting model and I, I wanted to give a couple shout outs with that too. Um, that, uh, under pulping is something that was developed by Margaret Shepherd, who’s in Iowa and was part of the Panty Pulping movement, uh, with Drew Matot, of Peace Paper. And, uh, it was Drew Matott and Drew Cameron that founded the Combat Paper Project, which was what our original Combat Paper, New Jersey founders based, their model off of.
So there’s, there’s a whole network of various paper makers throughout the country and the world, um, that do some of this work. Um, but our organization is the only one that I know of that is really focused on bringing together the veterans and non-veterans and various communities as Tara mentioned, the Migration Project that our board president and co founder Dave Keefe is working on, um, with, uh, communities in the Bronx and Harlem working with um, clothing from various, um, workers and, um, uniforms as well as native plants and mole ingredients. Um,

Wit López: Wow.

Rachel Heberling: They’re going to be sending the artwork back and forth across the border, and then we’ll be having an exhibition in 2020, early 2020 here. So we’re constantly working to connect communities around the world.

Wit López: That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that. I think that’s really, that’s really wonderful information to know. Do you have any other projects on the, on the horizon in that way?

Rachel Heberling: Um, Well some of them are top secret. (laughter)

Wit López: And that’s fine too! I don’t want to cross any lines. (laughter)

Rachel Heberling: No, those are some of our main ones. (laughter)
Um, I’ll talk about. Um, Frontline Paper. So, some of our employees are not here right now because, uh, so for our mobile program, basically we have a mobile, Oracle paper beater and all the equipment and accoutrements, gallons of pulp and vats. Um, that go into a van that we’ve had for several years, and that’s how we travel the project all over the country.

So right now we’re at Stockton university. Uh, we have James Ye and Walt Nygaard, two veterans running that. Um, that’s all orchestrated by our Frontline paper program manager, Ron Ericsson, and I just want to brag a minute that, um, just about half of our board are veterans and almost half of our staff are as well.

Wit López: That’s wonderful.

Rachel Heberling: We have to walk the talk here.

Wit López: Absolutely.

Rachel Heberling: Um, and we just, um, finished at the USO, Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland. We go to the USO several times a year, I’m also at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, and we just did our first, first, a Frontline paper workshop at, um, Bellarmine University in Kentucky at the beginning of October. So we, we keep going further and further out and,

Tara Krause: And it’s exciting to find these communities of veterans going back to school, going back to school, or coming first to school and to find them, you know, through, um, who was the one that ran the community? Um, I don’t have her name, but she was this marvelous catalyst of community, of the vets on campus, and she brought forth so many interesting vets that that threw down and went through it. And some people said, well, what are we doing? What kind of art do we want to make? And, and some people want, may want to commemorate their service or, you know, talk about their pride and serving certain, um, units said that’s part of their identity, and then other people were beginning to kind of peel that away and talking about the effect that war had on them and what they had done as warriors, and then also what their children were experiencing.

Wit López: Oh, wow. So something for me that, uh, that when I first heard the presentation about Frontline Arts that stuck with me, and that wasn’t necessarily mentioned directly, was the healing process that Frontline Arts focuses on for veterans and allowing folks to have that voice when they come back home and to get healing from this project.

Uh, so would you be open to talking about. Maybe the healing behind this project and behind the mission of Frontline Arts?

Tara Krause: I find I’m always surprised- and I shouldn’t be, because we hear it enough and we all feel it- but over and over and over again folks will say- either very guardedly because it’s like rocking to our core, or people just say it out of gratitude- but this project saved my life.

Wit López: Wow.

Tara Krause: And that is… I know it did for me. Well, I, I know that being able to do this process and, um, Eli Wright talks about, um, ragpickers on civil war battlefields that would take uniforms off the dead to be able to use, to be, um, repurposed into paper. And there’s something really honoring about it an, and and people will talk about we, we had, um, I know several times in, um, in order to keep his, you know, confidence. But well, people will say, my wife never knew what I did there, but I live with it every day.

And they make art out of it, you know? And then they share the art and then people around them see the art and we begin the conversations, um, that, that, that’s probably, and there’s something about doing this wordless- it’s not silent.-You know, we’re having a good time- you know, it’s pretty raucous there, but, but it’s… There’s a primalness to taking it into the water.

There’s a primalness of washing it, um, of the rhythm that you begin to develop when you cooch the paper. Um, when you’re, you know, you, you want to hold it at a certain angle, um, to have the drips and you’re measuring the drips from when it’s running off your, um, uh, you know, when the paper is, the water’s coming down to exactly the right time to then put it, you know, flip it down.

It’s very hands on and it’s very rhythmic. Um, and then when people create art, it’s just, it brings us to a core, you know. We can, we find communities, we try to find joy out of, out of pain. Yeah, no, that, that I think the mot- being in motion, being in creation and sharing that story, that story telling is heavy stuff.

Um, where people get to tell their stories, um, and to have this process that is healing, it’s healing the rip in the uniform just to do that, rip it asunder, and then create a new truth out of it and share that truth and then learn about other people’s truths.

Wit López: Wow.

Tara Krause [to Rachel]: Do do you have, please jump right in because,

Rachel Heberling: Sure. Um, yeah, I remembered, uh, Dave keeps saying at one point, um, just an incredible moment that happens when you have, you can have such a diverse group of people. In a room that might not come together. Otherwise, they might not talk to each other. But the moment everyone’s hands go into the vat of pulp..

You know, this happens at schools as well. Um, cause we do youth programs and professional development. And, you know, just, just some magic happens and then all of a sudden everybody is on a common ground. Um, and I, I felt that happened that just again, so just this past Sunday, we had the reception and artists talks for the exhibition, mentioned the war on the world.

And this was and is a communication between everybody, all populations on the effect of the military and the environment, and we just had an incredible series of talks with veterans and non-veterans, longtime members, brand new artists, um, to the organization. You can actually find the recording on our website if you want to rewatch it or on Facebook.

Wit López: And what is your, could you show your website? What is it?

Rachel Heberling: that is a wonderful question. And you can find us on Facebook as a Frontline arts slash PC, NJ, and Instagram is Frontline arts studio. Twitter is Frontline_arts.

Wit López: Awesome. Thank you.

Rachel Heberling: Try to do it all.

Wit López: It’s wonderful.

Rachel Heberling: Sure.

Wit López: I think folks should definitely look out for that recording.

Rachel Heberling: Oh, thanks. Yeah. But um, yeah, it’s just, it’s really interesting and. As, as mentioned, Sundays are for veterans only and has been for almost a decade, but the whole rest of the time that we’re open, which is almost seven days a week, we’re not open on Mondays, although key holders, which are people that have 24 hour access to the studio, um, they can schedule and come in. Um. We are for absolutely everyone. And so we also cater to the tradition and the technique of just plain fine art, printmaking as well, and paper making. And in fact, we have a internationally renowned, uh, printmaking instructor Ron Pokrasso flying in from New Mexico next week.

Wit López: Amazing.

Rachel Heberling: A three day course. And so, you know, we still do all the things that the printmaking center always did. Um, I’d just say where we’re more focused as well on paper making and the veterans community

Tara Krause: And also the, the, the making of, I took to love this combination because we’re, we’re more than a community arts center and we’re, we’re more grounded than say, the.

The incredible addition in fine art, printmaking studios. There’s this marvelousness of being able to be, you know, solid hardcore master per new skills that are being passed on and pop. Then at the same time, being able to be open enough to folks that come in and have never done it before. And to be able to create a culture, a space, a sacred space of a studio where people can come in and share and share.

It’s diverse or not amazing that the, and once we get that communication going, I’m surprised that it just flows. Um. Yeah. That something beautiful. It’s in process. It’s, we care about the craft. We’re rooted. We’re really rooted in, um, the, the historic legacy of printmaker voices. Um, um, I know for me, um.

You know, from the Renaissance engravers to then Goya and Kolwitz and, um, the Mexican revolution printmakers of, you know, of, um, Leopold Mendez. And then, um, a little bit. Catlett. I always don’t pronounce her name.

Rachel Heberling: Elizabeth Catlett yeah.

Tara Krause: Oh man. Well Philly, Philly two years ago had their amazing Paint the Revolution show.

Oh, it was. I went down to three times. I just couldn’t get enough of that. I began to know the museum guard by, by face too it, but they had, Oh my God. They had from paintings to the prints. And it changed me. That show changed me. I mean, you love to experience of things where, where it really comes in.

I mean, that just blew, in fact, it was after that show that I got, I found you guys. Oh wow. So thank you. That’s amazing. it’s more than just the Rocky statue.

Joan of arc. A large scale print of that that I saw. Shocked. Yes. I shot her and her course. I’m on new year’s day and then did a large engraving of it, and I’ve gotten two done. I have one more to go for a triptych. Yeah, it’s, it’s called, um. A Joan of Arc first steps is to dismount.

Wit López: Is this on display anywhere?

Tara Krause: Not yet. Not yet. We did one, it was amazing that it came because it was highly experimental. I hadn’t gone large scale yet, and we all kind of held our breath and. I actually took it wet to the show that we did show it to, which,

Wit López: That’s amazing.

Tara Krause: Yeah. I mean, it’s so beautiful cause everybody’s was like, go, go, go.

God. I hope she doesn’t screw it up in the spirit of, you know, um, shoot to the moon. We’re doing this experiment and then risking all, you know, wow. It’s that moment of the free fall where you get the grace. You know, and then you’ll hope. You don’t mess up other people’s work. And you know, I mean, being respectful and artist’s messy process.

Wit López: That’s wonderful. Well, when you do have this triptych on display, please let me know. I would love to be there. I would love to see it. Yeah. That’s really wonderful.

Rachel Heberling: Oh, and and Tara’s work is also as scattered throughout this current exhibition. She did an amazing series, um, about, uh, agent orange.

Tara Krause: Yeah, it’s a litany against agent orange, and it’s 39, um, lino cuts. That is you.

Wit López: Oh, they’re beautiful. For those of you who are listening, it’s very small. They’re about 4″ by 6″, it looks like. Scattered around the gallery on every, on almost every wall, I think. Yeah. On every wall in the gallery. Um, these very small, but very detailed pieces.

They’re beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Rachel Heberling: And shameless plug, she’s selling all of them for 25 a piece and donating the proceeds.

Tara Krause: Absolutely. They all go to quick. It’s like from, from Philly, you know, jump on the train and we’ll pick you up. Um, collect them, trade them. It’s kind of like we had the, um, Oh, the playing cards for the, um.

Iraq war and are wanting targets. Well, these are the actual pictures from the archives of the Ironbound Community Corporation from Newark when they and the children were, um, taking to the streets against the dioxin poisoning that Diamond Shamrock did. Um, and so to me, it’s really exciting and you can see in.

So it’s all sudden. It was a dark subject, as you know. How do you talk about this? The most toxic chemical known command is being released into the New York bite.

Wit López: Wow.

Tara Krause: You know, and the, the sediments are still in Harrison, and Newark and Ironbound are still still to this day, two times a day with the high tide, low tide.

Um, dioxin contaminants spread only spread through the food chain. They spread. And you know, that particles in Jamaica Bay that will, you know, that are there. You can actually have, I came to, it was, I lived in Harrison. My, my kids played on the soccer teams in Harrison. Um, you have tremendous, um, you know, it’s, it’s equal racism in, um.

Tragically, um, a tread complete classic case study of, um, a Diamond Shamrock along with Monsanto and Dow produced this, um, agent orange, the herbicide that was sprayed on the forest and our soldiers and the Vietnamese soldiers and the Vietnamese people. Um, and it’s still causing birth defects into the third generation.

So, and we’re losing, we’re losing our, um, Vietnam veterans that have agent orange, um, cancer and we’re losing, I mean, talk about Ironbound. Um. The best part of that, that, um, stretch, you know, mile miles, square mile or so stretch, um, that, that hugs the, um, North shore or actually the South shore of the Passaic, right, um, to the, uh, South East. Excuse me, on Newark, but you see the, there, the average is 10% poverty level. Um, there are pockets of 40% poverty level. Um, total majority is, um, minority. Um, but Keno black, um, also Hispanic, European Hispanic. Um, and. And you see this, and you see the decades of, of just poisoning.

I mean, they would release it into the, the Diamond Shamrock had several accidental spills, but they actually made sure that all documents were destroyed. They’ve spent three decades, um, engineering, this way of having a shell corporation fight responsibility. Um, and so when, when I was doing this and saying, okay, how can I make it is going to be a pop-up because I’ve been looking about how do you use a pop-up form of an artist book to tell a story. Um, well, this was turning out to be like a graphic novel without words. And then when we cut it up and slapped it on the wall, it was kind of like, ooh, I could see stickering this and corporate halls and, you know, bathroom stall, like doing that. And just the very fact, so, but it was dark.

It was dark. You know, I was, I was looking at, um, oh, Vietnamese hospital that only handles and cares for the children, the grandchildren of agent orange.

Wit López: Oh wow.

Tara Krause: And, and it was really dark. And then I found the archives online, it was their Picturing Justice Project where the Ironbound community corporation took all their newsletters from the eighties from the seventies.

Um, and, and forward, you know, as all these, but they actually show kids. In the streets with signs saying right to know, derecho de saber. Um, here. Have the right to know. I’m sorry my Spanish is terrible. Mine. No, it’s my fault. In fact, I, I want to, I want to grow my Spanish much better so I can get into book.

Oh, I took, sorry. This was a, I’m hoping that I could find. Because it was a call out from the, the printmakers for more haka. Um, they, I don’t want to completely embarrass myself as a gringa, and I’m saying if he cuts it no, I’m sorry, I don’t have it, but it was called Poetica. It was how do you, how do you imagine, imagine a world into being with strength and spirit and poetry?

And I wish I could say that in Spanish, but I can’t even pronounce sacred pronounce basic ones. So it’s my, um, my need to grow. Um, but, Ok, so I found these archives. And these kids were there on the line saying, why are you killing my daddy? Why are you killing me and my daddy? Why are we human guinea pigs?

Wit López: Wow.

Tara Krause: And then you saw the most that come up, um, during the, um, battle against the incinerator. So all this, I mean, 25%, um, oh asthma rate. Um, it’s, eh. Yeah. It, it’s very difficult, but, but, but, but, and I, I think this is where the printmaking in community comes as we see the strength, we see the hope in action and we see this and we can hold it up and we can express it and help other people tell their story and express it.

Wit López: Definitely

Tara Krause: Through our, through our deconstructed paper. And then all of a sudden we can act in hope. We can have a realistic sense of hope.

Wit López: That’s beautiful

Tara Krause: that it’s not just, um, you know, hold her hands and naively dream. I love to naively dreams, I want to be a nightmare. Um, um, but, but then it can be real.

Yeah. And we can tell ourselves. That these are our stories and we’ve heard when our country, when the U S did do awesome things socially, when we had movements that changed our country. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to, um,

Rachel Heberling: You’re getting excited.

Tara Krause: Yeah, I am. I’m sorry. I’m like talking when you guys can’t see me, but I’m talking with my hands like I am so in love with what I’m seeing in the streets where, where people are, are coming and, and, and as I was saying, to Wit, wow. As I live in learn, I take such joy, set, release, such freed amount of watching this younger generations, and I know everybody slams and you can say, “okay, boomer,”

Wit López: But I would never say that!

Tara Krause: In solidarity. Well, I’m so glad you guys are here. I just said that I will be happy to keep carving and printing and, and holding up this mirror to some amazing amount of social justice and, um, activism and art.

Wit López: Yeah, that’s wonderful. That is, uh, that is so, it’s so heartwarming and honestly, I’ve loved this conversation. I’ve loved, and even the conversation that happened before this and all the laughter that we had over the canolis prior to getting on these microphones. Yeah, I’m appreciative of both of you and the work that you’re doing and the community, and not just in within the veteran community, but also with connecting other communities to the veteran community and connecting the vet community to other communities as well.

So thank you. That’s really, it’s really wonderful. It’s really beautiful and it’s healing and it’s hopeful, like Tara said, so that’s fantastic. Thank you. For those of you out there who are listening, make sure that you make your way to branch Berg, New Jersey, to see the war on the world, which is the exhibition that’s currently here at the gallery at Frontline arts, which is located at 440 River Road, Branchburg, New Jersey, 08876.

Um, and once again, their website is This exhibition will be up until November 17th of 2019. Make sure that you make your way out there. Thank you. Thank you again to Tara and to Rachel for being guest today on Artblog radio. For those of you who are listening, you can listen to this podcast on our website, on Apple podcasts or on Spotify.

Thanks so much. Have a great day. Bye y’all.

You can listen to Artblog Radio on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

HUGE shoutout to Kyle Mckay for our new Artblog Radio intro and outro!