Highest Honor returns to Torpedo Factory Art Center’s atrium this season for the 5th year anniversary of the project.
Inspired by the building’s industrial founding, artist Andy Yoder designed the 25-foot triangular banner as an oversized version of the Army-Navy “E Award,” which was presented to workers during WWII for excellence in production of war equipment.
The U.S. Naval Torpedo Station in Alexandria received this award and every employee received a lapel pin modeled after the pennant.
Yoder worked with Torpedo Factory artist Patrick Sargent and a team of veterans to construct Highest Honor from handmade paper. The paper pulp incorporated surplus military hospital garments, as well as veterans’ personal letters, documents, discarded uniforms, and other meaningful ephemera.
The project sought to connect the Art Center’s history to today’s individuals who sacrificed for the common good. Another goal was to demonstrate art’s ability to cross boundaries and bring people together to heal invisible wounds, for the participants and audience alike.
Another goal of this project, besides creating a dynamic, compelling visual experience, is to demonstrate the power of art to cut across boundaries and bring people together. It also has to do with reviving history by connecting it to present-day events, while allowing participants and viewers to benefit from the power of art to heal invisible wounds.
Special thanks to Patrick Sargent (studio 325, Printmakers Inc), printer and papermaker, for his invaluable role in this production.
About the lead artist: Andy Yoder has exhibited work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Commissions include works for ESPN, Continental Airlines, Progressive Corporation, David and Susan Rockefeller, and the Saatchi Collection. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, the New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. He is a current instructor at The Art League.Learn More about the Project
See short film below by Rich Daniel documenting the project and the opening celebration of it’s initial unveiling on Veteran’s Day in 2016.