"Visions of Veterans" Art Show
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Guests “ooh”-ed and “aah”-ed. People milled around, some pointing at the art on the walls, others looking down at the tabletop displays of art.
The first floor lobby at the Brooklyn Campus of VA New York Harbor Healthcare System was transformed on Monday from a bright waiting area to a bustling art gallery, complete with original works of art and the artists who created them.
The Veteran artists present all participate in the Creative Arts Therapy program at the Brooklyn facility – some in the Veterans Support Center, some via the Clubhouse. In all, the work of over 70 Veterans was showcased at Monday’s show, “Visions of Veterans.”
“The program is designed to help Veterans with creative self expression, growth and self understanding,” noted Beryl Brenner, creative arts therapist at the Brooklyn facility.
The showcase featured three different art shows and a mural. “Visions of Veterans,” first shown at the Vietnam Era Education Center in New Jersey, depicts individual Veterans’ experiences through photos and other materials; “Inked Identity: Veterans Explore Tattoos,” originally shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, had the Veteran artists designing their own tattoos based on how they see themselves as people; “The Veterans Lens,” shown at the Whitney Museum, also in New York City, are a series of portraits the Veterans took of themselves, showing their inner selves. Finally, “Chaos of War,” a mural of the intensity of war, is on display at DeLoitte’s headquarters in Arlington, VA, created by 20 Veterans under the eye of Melanie Zarabi, art therapist. What is hanging at VA is a print, donated by Deloitte. It was framed by “Golf Supports Our Troops.”
“I’m very happy to see my Veterans shine,” boasted Ms. Brenner. “This is their home.”
At the program, Medical Center Director Martina Parauda addressed the crowd, announcing that “Visions of Veterans” would be on permanent display. The group gathered erupted in applause. “This is what we’re about here. You, the Veterans. That’s what the ‘V’ in VA stands for.”
Also on permanent display will be “Chaos of War,” which is approximately nine feet wide.