The art will be on display from April 5-7.
The Ormond Memorial Art Museum continues to show its commitment to veterans as it plans to host the fifth-annual Veterans Art Showcase through the V.A. Wellness Recovery Program this week.
Starting on Thursday, April 5, local veterans' art will be on display inside the museum as part of the museum's art outreach program, which started in 2010. Each month, artist Regina Stengel on behalf of the museum provides instruction and supplies for a 90-minute class at the Wellness Center facility where veterans are able to let their creativity flow freely. Stengel, whose significant other is a Vietnam veteran and has a son in the Air Force, said she likes to be relaxed in her classes so that the veterans are able to truly express themselves.
She gets emotional about the program, but when she thinks back to the first veterans art show ever held, she remembers how the veterans beamed at having their work shown in an actual gallery. She said it inspired them to continue and made them feel like serious artists, which she said was extremely important.
“It validates your art and you as a person," Stengel said. "It makes you very proud.”
Army veteran James "J.J." Jones has participated in the program for the last two years. He said it has built up his self-esteem and that art keeps him calm and relaxed when his mind is going "50,000 places at once." He paints mostly flowers, but is trying to expand his horizons, something that is reflected in his art at the show.
He said one of the amazing things he found in the program when he first started was the discovery of talented people among him that didn't realize their own talent.
“Like myself, it still takes some convincing but, you know, it gives us an opportunity to express our [art]," Jones said.
But most of all, art is their form of expression, no matter the medium.
“An artist is putting something into the piece of work that not even their closest friends can see," Jones said. "It’s the most inner part of the artist, putting it out there for the whole world to see, whether it makes sense or not — that’s my feeling about it anyways.”