Aaron Hughes is an artist, teacher, organizer, and Iraq War veteran, whose work seeks out poetics, connections, and moments of beauty, in order to in order to construct new languages and meanings out of personal and collective traumas. He use these new languages and meanings to create projects that attempt to de-construct systems of dehumanization and oppression.
On January 30, 2003 Aaron was pulled out of the University of Illinois and called to active duty with the 1244th Transportation Company Army National Guard out of North Riverside, Illinois. On April 17, 2003 his Company was deployed to Kuwait under Operation Iraqi Freedom. There he supported combat operations by transporting supplies from camps and ports in Kuwait to camps in Iraq. After three extensions, totaling one year, three months and seven days, Aaron's Company was redeployed home to North Riverside Illinois on July 24, 2004. Aaron returned to the University of Illinois in the spring of 2005 as a student majoring in painting with the need to express and share his experiences with others and began to use art as a tool to confront issues of dehumanization, militarism, and occupation. Aaron went on to receive an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University in 2009. From July 2009 to November 2012 he served as the Organizing Team Leader for IVAW were he worked on developing the IVAW Field Organizing Team, IVAW's first strategic campaign Operation Recovery, and many other actions including the 2012 NATO protest. Aaron has worked on such projects as Warrior Writers, Combat Paper, Drawing For Peace, Operation First Casualty, Winter Soldier, the Demilitarized University, the Field Organizing Program, Operation Recovery, War is Trauma portfolio, Celebrate People's History: IVAW portfolio, and the Tea Project.
PS: Aaron Loves birds!