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VFW of Monroe's new art gallery opens with celebration Feb. 3

Evan Morud / UW News Lab photo

VFW Post 7511 member Jeremy Blake views artwork hanging at the VFW Art Gallery grand opening in Monroe on Feb. 3. Blake, a member of the Army Infantry, has been involved with VFW Post 7511 for a year.

MONROE — Veterans, community leaders and members of the community gathered on Saturday to welcome and celebrate the opening of a downtown art gallery. The gallery is an initiative of the Veterans Arts Council for Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7511.
The art on the walls, which they finished hanging the night prior, is a compilation of local photography, painting, barn quilts and woodwork. The pieces focus on scenes of nature in the Sky Valley, as well as memories from combat, and depictions of the artist’s struggles with mental health.
Monroe Chamber of Commerce director Janelle Drews referred to the gathering as one of the biggest crowds for a grand opening she had seen.
“It was a little hectic coming together, but to see it here now is like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Adam Ihlanfeldt, assistant director for the Veterans Arts Council, said when asked about the gallery set-up.
Before opening, the post received a video from Denver VFW Post 1, which opened a similar art gallery in 2015 and created the successful model that Post 7511 is following. The Denver team wished Post 7511 good luck and reminded them what an impact an art gallery could have on the local community.
“Dad would be a little embarrassed, but it feels good to finally have our own post location,” Country Roney, daughter of Ward Roney, the veteran Post 7511 is named after, and lead of the membership committee, said.
The gallery is located at 125 E. Main St. It is run by volunteers, and has not yet determined its set hours but encourages people to stay notified through their Facebook page. To find open hours during the week or stay notified on new artist calls, visit their Facebook page: “Ward Roney Jr. VFW Post 7511.”

This story was produced by a journalism student at the UW News Lab for the Tribune.

Preview coverage:

VFW of Monroe to open new art gallery

MONROE — A new art gallery opening downtown on Feb. 3 will feature a collection of pieces representative of Monroe from local artists and military veterans.

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