Tom Kindt Hubbard of Columbia City, Indiana, was two years old when his father, U.S. Marine Sgt. Thomas Patrick Kindt, was killed in action in Vietnam on September 21, 1966. A few years ago, Hubbard, a graphic artist, took a strong interest in the details of his father’s Vietnam War experiences. That led to a trip to The Wall in Washington where he met Ed Henry, a VVA member who for many years has led tours for veterans, family members, and others of American War sites in Vietnam.
Henry helped Hubbard reconstruct his father’s tour of duty. Hubbard then went to Vietnam where he spent five weeks traveling with his mother and his wife, visiting sites where his father served, taking photographs, and keeping a journal. That resulted in a solo, multi-media exhibit, Semper Fidelis: How I Met My Fathe r, which we described in the March/April 2004 issue of The VVA Vetera n. The exhibit has run in several museums since its debut at the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Museum of Art in 2003.
Semper Fidelis will go on display again starting Thursday, March 29, at the Kent State University School of Art’s Downtown Gallery in Ohio. The exhibition, Hubbard says, “chronicles my quest to learn about my father, a U.S. Marine killed in Vietnam, and will be exhibited near the site of one of the most memorable and horrific anti-war protests in U.S. history.
“In conjunction with the show, a full-color exhibition catalogue has been produced and is now available. The 56-page catalogue contains critical essays and images of the ceramic, mixed media and photographic works from the exhibition and includes excerpts, working drawings and sketches from my personal sketchbooks documenting the journey.”
The guts of the exhibit are 21 ceramic vessels that he based loosely on military bunkers and artillery shells. Hubbard grafted words from his father’s letters onto the vessels, along with his own journal entries and photographs of Vietnam. Hubbard’s photographs, arranged in diptychs, and a family altar to his father also are part of the exhibit.
For more info, go to Hubbard’s website .