The latest exhibit at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is one of the most unusual I’ve ever heard of. It’s called “Trench Art: Productive Pastimes from the Debris of War.” Being the wife of a retired Air Force and 122nd Air National Guard soldier and the mother of an Air Force pilot deployed overseas, this idea attracted my attention. First, I had to find out what it meant. According to FWMoA curator Brian Williamson, the name ‘Trench Art’ was coined during WWI. “A French magazine ran a story on artisans from the trenches,” he said. “They referred to soldiers who created works of art from spare materials, such as fired shell casings.” The timeline for items featured in the exhibit range from the Civil War through Vietnam, including Spanish American, WWI, WWII, and Korean. The collection is made up of donations from the FWMoA, Fort Wayne History Center, Museum of the Soldier in Portland and the Huntington County Historical Society. The items include a WWI painted helmet, bomber jacket with pen and ink drawing on the back. Two artillery shells that belonged to Paul Baer, the namesake for Baer Field, are on loan from the Fort Wayne History Center. The Trench Art exhibit contains approximately 120 pieces. “The pieces belong to families whose relatives brought them back from war,” said Williamson. While the bulk of the items represent WWI and WWII, a brooch and a rare piece of folk art from Andersonville Prison are from the Civil War. There is even a wooden piece from the USS Maine of the Spanish American War era. The exhibit runs from January 14 through February 26. Fort Wayne Museum of Art 311 East Main Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802-1997 260.422.6467 $5.00 adults $3.00 children $10.00 families Sunday noon -5 (free admission) Tuesday-Saturday 11-6 Thursday 11-8 (free admission) Closed Monday