Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Odyssey of Combat Papermaker Jim Fallon

Jim Fallon

He didn’t set out to be an artist, yet Combat Papermaker Jim Fallon took 1st Place in the 2015 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, sponsored by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary. Entitled "Orphans' Opus '68," the winning work is an image from a photo Fallon took of Vietnamese orphans behind a gate merged with the strings of a grand piano. The silkscreen print is on paper made from Vietnam war uniforms.

Selections of Jim Fallon’s work will appear in “Combat Paper & Beyond,” an art exhibition running June 18 through July 9 at the Puffin Cultural Forum, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck, NJ. The art show grand opening is Saturday, June 18 at 4 pm.

The exhibit explores the vision of the Combat Paper Project through innovative artwork created by veterans and non-veterans. Multi-media work by Eli Wright is featured with additional works by award-winning artists Jim Fallon, David Keefe, Rachel Heberling, Elisabeth Smolarz, Frank Wagner, Ron Erikson, Nate Lewis and others.

Born in Hoboken, NJ and raised in Jersey City, Fallon is retired and living in Hoboken. He served in Vietnam as a medic in an Army Reserve Medical Field Hospital Unit. During his tour in Vietnam, he also assisted a local orphanage, providing food, toys and extra medical supplies for the children.

He returned home to bartending, playing music in jazz clubs and working as a union representative. For a period of time he owned the Half Note Jazz Club in the Village in NYC. He also lived in Los Angeles, CA for 18 years working as a bartender and union representative. He’s an active member of many veterans’ organizations including Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Secaucus Veterans Center, Combat Paper NJ, Agent Orange Organizations and as a Service Officer for the DAV. Despite a severe arm injury from cancer due to exposure to Agent Orange chemicals, he took up art in a workshop several years ago at the Secaucus Vets Center.

Jim Fallon’s Combat Paper art has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel, NJ, Gloucester County College, Brennan Gallery at the Brennan Court House in Jersey City, Jersey City Art & Studio Tour, and on display as the first place entry in the October 2015 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Durham, NC.

"Orphans' Opus '68" by Jim Fallon

1 comment:

Gretchen Gibbs said...

hi Mr. Fallon,
I to was a 11B10 draftee finding myself in the Iron Triangle in 1968-69 with the 2nd battalion 22nd Infantry (mech) 25th Infantry Division. It changed me completely. I have been a photography since picking up a Brownie in 4th grade. I carried a camera with me during my tour and took many photos. A matter of fact, my best every photo was taken of a VC prisoner couple, blindfolded and holding hands. Even though they were blind folded and could not see, I realized that I could not see, yet I was not blindfolded. We were the bad guys, yes! This photo is entered in Marissa Roth's exhibit comprised of photos taken by Gi's. I would like to share it with you. Would you like to see it? Namaste' Fred Gibbs