A coffee house in Middletown is showcasing the work of artists who are also veterans. WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil has more
Al Kim works the night shift as a police officer for the city for the Middletown. During the day, he often hangs out at Klekolo World Coffee a few blocks from the police department. Kim is also a photographer and some of his work hangs on the walls of the small coffee shop. He points to one of them, It’s a picture of the Swing Bridge over the Connecticut River.
“You know it's funny that’s the one that was the most popular. What I didn’t’ realize is for the city of Middletown residents that bridge actually holds a multitude of childhood memories.”
The photography show is put on by the Veterans Art Foundation. Kim connected with co-founders of the group including Iraq veteran, Mike Hawley, after meeting them at the Hartford Vet Center.
Kim is a twenty-two year veteran of the U.S Army At the start of the Iraq War, he suffered a combat injury that continues to give him chronic headaches. He says photography has become therapeutic for him and the art group gives him an outlet to share his work.
“When I came across the Veterans Art Foundation they enjoyed the images greatly and all of a sudden I had a goal, let’s see what we can do with the photography and in the process find other veterans who are going through the same process of healing themselves and see if we can help them as well.”
The art show runs until June 6 at Klekolo. The proceeds will be used by the foundation to help other veterans pursue their art interests.