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Mineral Wells, TX
July 11, 2011


Museum Announces Opening of “Tropic Lightning” Exhibit

Mineral Wells, Texas - July 11, 2011 — The grand opening of the Art exhibition “Tropic Lightning” is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM at the Visitor Center of The National Vietnam War Museum. The exhibit is currently on display from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Sunday through Saturday, and will remain on display until September 17, 2011. Admission to the opening and the exhibit is free. Donations to support the exhibit or the museum are welcome. The exhibition features 12 paintings by Jim Nelson and 14 photographs by Dave DeMauro that reflect their experiences and memories of Vietnam. Jim’s work was primarily produced after his return while Dave’s photographs were taken during his tour.

The public is invited to attend the opening and meet the artist, Jim Nelson, a combat artist with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi. Most of the paintings can be found in his book: “Vietnam War Paintings” (2003). Autographed copies of the book will be on sale at the opening and throughout the exhibition. Jim will be happy to personalize your copy at the opening. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the painting, “Battle of Fire Support Base Burt (Suoi Cut)” that Jim painted while in Vietnam. “Battle” portrays a January 1, 1968 attack that cost the lives of six and wounded another sixteen of his twentynine member platoon, an encounter this artist recalls in great detail. Jim has donated this 5’ x 10’ oil on canvas piece to the museum. A second of his works, “The Regulars,” has also been donated to the museum by Bob Ownes of Nacogdoches, Texas.

DeMauro was a combat photographer with the 3/22nd Infantry Battalion, part of the 25th Infantry Division. Nelson served with the 2/22nd Infantry Battalion, Mechanized, when he first arrived in Vietnam. Both were required to serve as infantrymanbefore being recommended for the jobs they would later hold. Consequently, each spent time on the battlefield before establishing himself as an artist. A word of caution to our veterans, especially those recently returned, the art contains realistic depictions of real soldiers in actual combat situations.

The National Vietnam War Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that was founded in 1998 to tell the unbiased stories of the more than 5,000,000 servicemen and servicewomen who served there, the civilian contractors who supported their efforts, the Vietnamese people, their culture and history, and those on the home front, both supporters and those in opposition to the war. The museum is located on 12 acres at 12685 Mineral Wells Highway, Weatherford, TX, about a mile east of Mineral Wells and about 15 miles west of Weatherford on Highway 180. More information about the museum is available on the website at or on Facebook at

Edward T. "Edd" Luttenberger
Communications Director
The National Vietnam War Museum




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