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Veterans art on display serves a healing purpose

Art exhibit honors injured veterans; helping families, caregivers cope

ROANOKE, Va. – On Tuesday, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSM) unveiled an exhibit featuring work by veterans with PTSD and other physical or brain injuries. Some pieces were even done by their families and caretakers.

The exhibit, titled “Creative Forces: An Exhibit in Healing,” includes photos, sculptures and paintings by artists from all over Virginia, including from the Roanoke Valley.

This show is co-hosted by The Art League of Alexandria and the Salem VA Medical Center.

It’s comprised of works from several organizations that serve military personnel. These include IMPart, The Art League’s outreach program that connects returning injured military personnel with transformative art experiences; the Armed Services Arts Partnership, which cultivates community and growth with veterans, service members, military families, and caregivers through the arts, and ART-illery, which creates and cultivates local spaces in which returning veterans and community members can discuss and process their personal experiences of conflict through a myriad artistic disciplines.

Dr. Dave Trinkle, the associate dean of community and culture at VTCSM, said that art therapy is a great medicine and tool and it’s important for the students who will someday become doctors to see that.

“Medications do help, but they don’t do everything. And I think engaging a social network, engaging your caregivers and learning different ways to reduce stress and different wellness models are part of the package of helping veterans,” said Trinkle.

The art exhibit will run through mid-May and is open to the public.

To learn more about dates, times and getting to the exhibit, click here.


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