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Contact: Katie Lawhon, 717-338-4402
U.S. Military combat veteran and acclaimed painter Joshua Osburg is the new Artist-in-Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park beginning in mid-January. Gettysburg National Military Park, in partnership with the National Parks Arts Foundation and the Gettysburg Foundation, is welcoming Osburg for a month-long residency on the Gettysburg battlefield. He will talk about his work at an artist engagement event at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center on February 3 from 10 am to 1 pm.
Osburg is known for expressing the pain of war and transformation throughout his visual themes. He plans to create three to five oil paintings in a series entitled “The Last Measure of Devotion” to incorporate the landscape of Gettysburg National Military Park. The effort will be an exploration of Osburg’s relationship with war from the perspective of an artist, educating the public about the impact of war on the artist and visual art.
“Gettysburg National Military Park will allow me to explore my personal relationship with war as an American artist,” said Osburg. “I answered the same calling as the men did that died fighting at Gettysburg during the American Civil War. I want to examine the juxtaposition of beauty that encompassed pain and suffering.”
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Osburg endured a transient childhood and was, by his own account, "raised in depravity." His first canvas was the walls of his many homes, where he depleted his family’s stock of pens and pencils. At age 21 he enlisted in the United States Army, brimming with a sense of strong patriotism and duty to his country. At 22 he was in Baghdad with the 1st Calvary Division as QRF (Quick Response Force). Still, a sheet of wood and drawing utensils helped him escape the pains of war. He feels that his constant and intuitive relationship throughout his life with art eliminates stress and produces a satisfaction acquired nowhere else.
In his public engagement, Osburg will explain his point of view in his own words as an example of the impact war has had on him personally and in his creative process. He will also speak about the many art movements and great American artists that have come from and been moved by America at war from America’s beginnings to present time.
Osburg feels that the battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in history, art and culture and his Gettysburg residency will, therefore, be a turning point in his career as an artist. The perspective or “lens” of his experience in war will be an influential perspective to which he will view the battlefield’s artistic themes.
“Gettysburg National Military Park has offered inspiration to artists for more than 150 years,” said Chuck Hunt, acting superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park. “The Artist-in-Residence program engages new audiences and tells Gettysburg’s stories in new and compelling ways.”
Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. For more information go to: www.nps.gov/gett.
The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks through creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage.
For more information about Joshua Osburg’s artist engagement opportunity on February 3, call 717-334-1124.