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Object Stories – Combat Paper

Seven percent of all living Americans have served in the Armed Forces. That equals 23 million opportunities to narrow the gap between our perceptions of war and military service with the lived experience of those who have served. Combat Paper unites veterans, active duty military, and civilians in communal dialogue and creative making to reframe how we think about war and military service. This exhibition is the result of a 2016 Combat Paper workshop hosted by the Portland Art Museum and the Portland State University Veterans Resource Center. The workshop participants represent various military branches and include local veterans and active duty personnel whose service, altogether, spans decades.At the workshop, participants collaboratively deconstructed their retired military uniforms to turn into paper. Transforming their uniforms into paper, allows them to serve a new function, and provides an artistic way for participants to process their military experience. Each participant’s work is on view, and each is paired with their own personal story and additional items connected to their service.

To learn more about Combat Paper or find a public workshop near you, visit

Join us from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 23rd for our annual Summer Celebration and Object Stories Community Opening.  Stop in to make art, create connections, and to celebrate summer through music, tours, food, and fun. This event is free for veterans and service members and their friends and families.

Blue Star Museums logoThe Museum is proud to participate in the Blue Star Museum program, which offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information, visit:

This story is 2 minutes 3 seconds.

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This story is 2 minutes 7 seconds.

Listen to all of the stories.

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