This project is called Story Art and it involves working with military veterans at the Charles George VA Medical Center here in Asheville. This program is in the form of an art class that encourages and guides the participants to create a visual art piece depicting a meaningful event from their life’s experience. Think about what would make a dynamic cover for your biography or memoir.
This class is one of many recreational therapy programs offered at the VA for the participants and thru volunteer services I co-facilitate with Rebekah Wiggins who is the resident art therapist. She is qualified to work thru any issues that may arise during a session.
Art Therapy provides emotional relief by encouraging expression of feelings and concerns. Art making is observed to relieve depression and anxiety as well as improve reality orientation, as seen in persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I believe having the Vets articulate a story gives them a task to focus on, which may help them recall something they have forgotten or a story they may want others to know about and pass on. To quote Kipling: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
I have designed this class to be inclusive to everyone from no art experience to seasoned artist. We are able to accommodate participants with disabilities and limitations.