United States veterans who find peace and healing through art had an opportunity to showcase their work outside the state Capitol in California earlier this week, according to KCRA 3. The event was hosted by The Veterans Art Project (VETART), an organization that helps veterans, active-duty military members, spouses, dependents, and their caregivers through art therapy. Several veterans shared how creating the art is therapeutic for them, and being able to share it with the community makes it even more fulfilling.
According to KCRA, one Marine Corps veteran, Colin Hoffman, shared that creating sculptures and illustrations is like his “medication.” He stated, “when I’m shaping the clay, or spraying the paint, or writing, that’s what I’m doing. My problems disappear for a while. It’s an escape for me.” Other veterans agreed, explaining that focusing on creating something beautiful helps each of them heal as they find peace during the time they work on their art pieces.
The Veterans Art Project was established to provide veterans an opportunity to heal, with many suffering from post-traumatic stress, and a chance to connect with other military families and their community in an engaging way. VETART offers free classes in ceramics, glass, woodworking, and bronze casting.
According to VETART, “through on-site community arts classes, demonstrations, and exhibitions across San Diego county and the country, VETART provides space for Veterans to connect with others and discover an outlet for expressing their experiences through the art-making process. By identifying, encouraging, and promoting all artists, VETART has a proven record of being an inclusive organization dedicated to promoting a spectrum of voices.”
Veterans who participate in the art-making process and displaying their work to others are cultivating a healthy lifestyle that brings joy to themselves and others. With VETART’s community of veterans and their families, they have created an environment where fun and engaging activities meet emotional and compassionate support. As more showcases pop up in California and around the country, more veterans and their families will hopefully discover the opportunity to join in the art-making process and find peace through its calming effects.