We Honor the Fallen; Ret. Sgt. Peter J. Damon


Published 2/1/2010
Kristina K. Findlay

Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements

An exhibit of more than 100 original works of art, Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements will debut in New Orleans at the AAOS 2010 Annual Meeting.

Organized as a tribute to injured troops, their families, and the civilians, medical staff, and orthopaedic surgeons who cared for them, the exhibition thoughtfully considers the sacrifices made in war. The show includes artwork created by 30 orthopaedic surgeons, as well as 70 other artists, in response to the painful, personal, and inspiring stories of those injured in combat. Here are just a few examples of their work.

We Honor the Fallen
Ret. Sgt. Peter J. Damon

An Iraq War veteran, Ret. Sgt. Peter J. Damon lost both arms when the wheel assembly of a Blackhawk helicopter he was servicing exploded. The accident, which occurred at an air base outside Balad, Iraq, in October 2003, killed his partner. During rehabilitation, he learned how to eat, bathe, and dress himself using his teeth and a prosthesis created for his left arm. Within three months, he was drawing again. “It became my therapy,” Sgt. Damon said. “It really uplifted me. It lighted a spark.” Now he can’t imagine a life without art. “It has really evolved from therapy to a passion that consumes most of my time.”

Colin K. Miller, MD

When casualties increased at Ibn Sina Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, Col. Colin K. Miller, MD, had little time for his passion—photography. Orthopaedic surgeons worked around the clock operating on injured soldiers. Dr. Miller took photos in his “downtime.” His images immortalize intense moments from his experiences in combat medicine— experiences he says have made him a better surgeon, leader, and person. “I can’t imagine a better job than caring for wounded soldiers,” he said.

Home from the War
Joseph A. Pearson

A New Orleans-based artist, Joseph A. Pearson served as an illustrator in the U.S. Army from 1976 to 1979. He started drawing at age 5, fascinated by “the magic of making a figure out of lines and shade.” His artwork now includes portraits, murals, and human figures, but drawing figures remains his passion. “My strength as an artist lies in my passion for the familiar faces, figures, and scenes of the loving, but ordinary facets of life: the human condition. My goal is to translate this condition into a universal point of view,” he said.

Exhibition details
The AAOS partnered with the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the Society of Military Ortho-paedic Surgeons to sponsor this exhibit, which is an extension of the Academy’s 75th anniversary celebration.

We Honor the Fallen; Ret. Sgt. Peter J. Damon
Untitled; Colin K. Miller, MD
Home from the War; Joseph A. Pearson

Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements will be on display March 9–13, at the Morial Convention Center, outside the La Nouvelle Ballroom.

Related events
Join the artists as they discuss their work and the exhibition on Thursday, March 11, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Morial Convention Center, Room 208. All are welcome.

Kristina K. Findlay is manager, media relations, in the AAOS public relations department. She can be reached at findlay@aaos.org

Art sales support orthopaedic education
Orthopaedic surgeon artists will donate proceeds through OREF

A group of orthopaedic surgeon artists participating in the 2010 Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements will donate proceeds from the sale of their art to support AAOS educational initiatives through the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).

AAOS members, allied health professionals, industry partners, and members of the public will have the opportunity to support the Academy’s ongoing educational programs by buying a piece of art created by a participating orthopaedic surgeon. This unique fundraiser was organized as part of the expanded collaboration between the Academy and OREF, through which OREF will seek support for AAOS educational programs from individuals as well as industry.

The artworks will be on display March 9–13 outside the La Nouvelle Ballroom in the Morial Convention Center during the AAOS 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.