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Artistic photo exhibit opens at Averitt Center during First Friday
Artistic photographer and GSU professor Jessica Hines will open her exhibit at the Averitt Center for the Arts’ Legends Gallery during this month’s First Friday in downtown Statesboro today. - photo by Special to the Herald
    First Friday, which is fast becoming a staple of downtown Statesboro, will feature the artistic photography of Georgia Southern professor Jessica Hines.
    On display at the Averitt Center for the Arts, her exhibit “My Brother’s War: Chapter 1” tells the story of her and her brother, Gary. An opening reception will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. that evening.    
    Those who view the exhibit will see toys and references to childhood games and imagination in Hines’ photographs. When Hines’ father was a child during World War I, he made the drawings of fighting soldiers that appear in the images.
    “With the intention of going beyond the deeply personal, my images are meant to be received by a broad audience,” said Hines on her Web site. “They speak of memory, personal tragedy and loss, and visually express my inquisitiveness into the nature of reality. They are made with a balance of both heart and mind.”
    Tim Chapman, director of the Averitt Center, said the show is hanging in the Legends Gallery on the Averitt’s second floor.    
    “During the course of the year, art faculty are all encouraged to display their work,” said Chapman. “It’s her first showing here with us and we’re excited to display her work.”
    When Hines’ brother was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1967, her world changed drastically. At the age of eight, with parents who were unable to care for her, Hines was sent to live with relatives. She didn’t see her beloved brother for two years.
    According to the Veterans Administration, he had become 50 percent disabled after being discharged from the Army in 1969 for “post traumatic stress disorder.” He would take his own life 10 years later.
    Only more recently did Hines discover a Vietnamese/English dictionary that was inscribed with declarations of love for Gary from a Vietnamese woman, about whom the family had not known. She also found a memo pad with the names and addresses of wartime friends, many of whom she tried to contact but had died young. She continues to make discoveries about wartime in Vietnam and the experiences of its veterans.
    “My Brother’s War” is an ongoing work that has evolved by chapters. Hines is now working on chapter 3, and will return to Vietnam in May to continue her work.
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