LIFE SELF-ART-SOLDIERS 2 TB
Josh Mooi, from left, Monse Wisdom and Destinee Oitzinger hang a painting titled "We Could be Heroes" by artist Steve Mumford for the Joe Bonham Project, a collection of drawings and paintings of severely injured soldiers in VA hospitals, at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago on Thursday, May 21, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

When I think of Veteran’s Day, I think back to when I was a little kid. Whenever I was with my mother and we would see someone in uniform, my Mom would say to me, “Go up to them and say thank you.” So I did.

To me, that is what Veteran’s Day is all about. It’s about giving thanks and showing appreciation to those who have put their lives in danger to protect ours.

Veteran’s Day is a day to give thanks and appreciation to all of those men and women who have lost their lives, previously served or are currently serving in our military.

In one way, the thankfulness is shown through art. The National Veteran’s Art Museum in Chicago has a unique art collection that displays thoughts, feelings and emotions that veterans experienced during or after their active duty.

This museum focuses on understanding the impact that war has on those who served. These art pieces tend to focus more on the Vietnam War but have started to feature artwork on the overall subject of war.

Every art piece has been painted, sculpted, written or photographed by a veteran. The museum’s collection now consists of over 2,500 work of art. Some of this artwork can be viewed by going to collection.nvam.org.

Not far from Weber State University, Art Access in Salt Lake City has been displaying their 3rd Annual Veterans Exhibit. Prior to the exhibit, Art Access held veteran’s workshops to help veterans by providing a medium to express their feelings.

The Arizona-based WHAM Art Association will also be showcasing their year long project of teaching art to veterans at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona. The piece “Brotherhood,” created entirely by veterans, will be revealed at the park to stand as a symbol of the camaraderie that veterans have for each other.

“Through art, participants were able to express positive feelings, externalize difficult emotions and gain insight into their PTSD symptoms,” Cheryl Miller said in research analyzing Veterans and art therapy. “Art making fostered discussion and allowed veterans to show empathy for one another.”

Art is a helpful tool to portray a message and an understanding. All of these events show that art is yet another unique way to say thank you to those who’ve earned it.

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