The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) celebrates veterans with two November events. The 2018 AAAC Arts & Wellness Veterans Showcase takes place at The Grey Eagle on Saturday, November 10, from 4–6 p.m. and the 2018 Veterans’ Juried Exhibition runs from Friday, November 2, through November 30 at the Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space.
“Our goal is to highlight the sacrifices veterans have made for all of us while also illustrating the value of arts in their healing and reconnection to the greater community,” says AAAC executive director Stefanie Gerber.
The Veterans Showcase celebrates both participants and instructors in the Art & Wellness Program for Veterans launched by AAAC in September 2017. The program serves as an alternative method of healing through art classes and workshops that provide avenues of expression beyond those traditionally offered. Hands-on activities include ceramic-making, creative writing, painting, poetry, drawing and mixed media.
“Collaboration with the AAAC and the area arts community has brought together medical practitioners, nonprofit leaders and art scholars in creating tools that contribute to our veterans’ health, healing and well-being,” says Vicki Eatmon, voluntary service specialist at Charles George VA Medical Center.
The November 10 Showcase includes a ceramics demonstration, performances by Music for Veterans songwriters, and live poetry and prose readings. Raleigh-based company Black Box Dance Theatre will perform Move to Action led by veteran, composer and dance collaborator Alfredo Hurtado. A silent auction will also take place, with proceeds going toward the Art & Wellness Program.
The Veterans’ Juried Exhibition highlights visual art created by program participants and other local veterans. Cash prizes will be awarded, with winners announced at an opening reception held on Friday, November 2, from 5–8 p.m.
“Our Veterans have begun the healing process through movement, poetry and creative workshops which require cognitive effort and social stimulation,” says Eatmon. “These programs are bridging the gap between their illness and their recovery goals and facilitating integration back into the community.”
The Grey Eagle is located at 185 Clingman Avenue in Asheville. The Thom Robinson and Ray Griffin Exhibition Space is located in the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at AshevilleArts.com.