Julio Nazario is a photographer and mixed-media artist whose work is in museums and private collections. Since the early 1980s, Nazario has been creating photos and mixed media prints of a series focusing on Vietnam Medals. The work in Collecting Memories is a Vietnam Service Medal image that he made in 2020 as one of the series. Nazario sees these as meditations on the icons of war, acting as reminders of grief and the irony of bestowing medals for “good conduct” to those that excel in battle. In 1990, Cornell Capa hired Nazario to teach photography at the International Center of Photography in New York City, where he taught for a decade until he left to work at Rutgers University. Two years ago, he retired as Assistant Dean/Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences, Honors Program, from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He taught courses at Rutgers in the Caribbean & Latino Studies department focusing on Latino Cinema and Identity Politics. Prior to Rutgers he was an Adjunct Associate Professor for 17 years, at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), where he founded the school’s first Commercial Photography Program. Nazario is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with an M.F.A in Visual Arts and he earned a B.A. in Philosophy in Queens College, CUNY. He is a Vietnam War veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart. Nazario was 19 when he was stationed in Vietnam, and later in life he rediscovered the medals earned in his youth. Nazario reflects on why he’s been working on these for decades. “For me these medals are a tribute to soldiers and veterans that lost their sense of humanity as a result of war yet were able to retrieve it. In the decades, I was making these, I too was retrieving my sense of humanity and overcoming bouts of PTSD.