Current Exhibit

Ed Drew, photographerThe Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will unveil the new exhibition, “We Hold These Truths: American Veterans of Arkansas,” which focuses on Black military veterans in Arkansas, on Sept. 17.

“This exhibit is important to MTCC because it highlights the rarely told stories of Arkansas veterans, many of whom served abroad while being denied basic rights at home,” said Christina Shutt, director.

Little Rock photographer Ed Drew, who is also a veteran, has been working on the project for more than a year. The exhibition includes about 30 tintype photos of African American veterans. The photographic process, called wet-plate collodion, was developed before the Civil War and creates hauntingly beautiful portraits.

“Ed’s work blends history, culture and artistic portraiture to produce images that evoke the past while also bearing witness to the present,” Shutt said.

The exhibition will spotlight issues and stories of African Americans in Arkansas. Among the roughly 207,000 veterans living in Arkansas, about 23,000 are black, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. African Americans have served in every American war since the Revolutionary War, but they still faced assaults, bigotry and inequality, despite their service and valor.

Little has been done to collect the stories and spotlight the service of Black veterans, which makes this exhibition important, Drew and Shutt said.

“It’s the history of this country, and for me, most importantly, it’s the history of African American veterans who are rarely spoken about,” Drew said.

The exhibition will be up through February. A virtual event for the exhibit will be held on Facebook at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. For more information, contact the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501-683-3593.

Learn about some of our past changing exhibits