The Wounded Warrior Dogs Project is a traveling exhibition to raise awareness and focus the attention on the sacrifices and needs of wounded veterans. The personal narrative of rehabilitated dogs reveals the human cost of life and limb through the wounds of their canine companions in battle. The eight K9 sculptures are both humbling and healing, representing a special bond between the soldiers and canines. To this end, the display of these sculptures is for the purpose of:
Opening dialogue and encouraging psychological healing for veterans and families
Calling attention to the ongoing needs of physically and psychologically wounded veterans through our bond and connection with our faithful canine companions
Bringing attention to the service and heroism of the military working dog
I am moved by the physical and emotional sacrifice by the men and women of the United States military. Contemporary medical technology and triage in the field has more veterans surviving with injuries that would have been fatal in previous wars. In my limited and small way, I want to pay tribute to the soldiers who served with great sacrifice by creating the sculptural allegory of wounded warrior dogs who were the soldier’s best friend and companion in battle.
The beauty and craftsmanship of the exhibition is not intended to ignore the intensity or suffering of war. Mellick’s intent is to emphasize the nobility of those who sacrificed life, limb, and spirit in service to their country.
James Mellick’s career as an artist has been divided between the art market and the university. In 1973 he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a major in painting, a minor in sculpture and extensive work in printmaking.