In honor of Veterans Day, we take time to recognize The Veterans Art Project, also known as VetArt (vetart.org).
VetArt offers a program where veterans and active-duty military and their families can create and connect through free bronze casting and ceramics classes.
Their classes are intended to not only teach art skills, but to utilize the process as a medium to connect Veterans with each other and the communities they call home. The completed bronze pieces displayed at VetArt’s art shows also provide an impressive tool for public outreach and education that extends far beyond the classroom.
Why bronze casting? As Director Steve Dilley says, “Because it’s one of the most bad-ass traditions in art history, and it’s a tradition that is inextricably intertwined with warriors. Bronze casting not only helped shape the ancient world through technological advancement, but bronze art has been used to memorialize and make meaning out of human conflict since ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, and China. By learning this skill you are part of a tradition that transcends time.”
Steve Dilley, MFA, is also an instructor with The Veterans Art Project. “I was moved after 9/11 to help Veterans, active duty and spouses through art making. I feel a profound weight of responsibility to reach out and help other people, and I believe it is urgent that we help our contemporary military population to share all the benefits that a life of Art making gives.”
Steve feels fortunate to have taught the first VetArt class at Grossmont College in fall of 2010. Since then the Veterans Art Project has offered art activities/classes at three different colleges: Grossmont College in El Cajon, California; Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California; and Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona.
“Ultimately I believe in the power of ART as a visual language, one that allows intense personal insight to be gained by the participant. As a society we gain a vastly deepened network of visual/psychological power and cohesion by cultivating an artistic language that can be shared by all people.”
Their website states: “We are a down-to-earth, open-minded, actions-speak-louder-than-words kind of people. VetArt’s most basic mission is to teach, make, and share art. The rest takes care of itself.”
We say, “Good job! May your efforts extend into other states.”
Please visit their website at VetArt.org and share this information with your family and friends.