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Creative Conversations: Uniting Veterans and the Community Through the Arts

Combat veterans' art

Warriors Arts Alliance and VSA Missouri are excited to team up for Creative Conversations: Uniting Veterans and the Community Through the Arts. A weekend packed with the exchange of ideas, experience and art making!

Drew Cameron, co-founder of the Combat Paper Project, and Yvette Pino, founder of the Veteran Print Project, both veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, will facilitate three days of workshops exposing veterans to the power of papermaking and printmaking.

Combat Paper will lead veterans and their families in the dismantling of their uniforms and transforming them from fatigues to handmade paper. In Cameron’s words:

The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.

Combat Paper has created hundreds of pieces of art, chapbooks and has led many other workshops across the U.S. and the U.K.

Veteran Print Project will work with veterans and their families through the process of telling their stories and working with the printmaking medium to create imagery that reflects their experiences. This will be an intimate exchange between artists, family members and veterans that honors the power of re-telling one’s story. In Yvette’s words:

We are seeking out the stories to visualize the history of our veterans. Sometimes we have to see it to believe it. We cannot aim to tell everyone’s story at once; but the few the come forward and speak up first, will prompt others to have the courage to stand up and claim their part of history.

Veterans are encouraged to bring their old combat uniforms or other articles significant to their service to add to the paper production. Community members may participate by bringing articles of clothing or memorabilia symbolizing their own stories to combine with the veterans' uniforms to enhance the collaborative experience and create "veteran community paper." Paper created during the three-day workshops will be used for Missouri veterans and their family members to compose writing or artwork for inclusion in an anthology.

In addition to the workshops, the national StoryCorps Military Initiatives will be recording conversations with post-9/11 veterans and their recording partners on April 3 and 4 at the Regional Arts Commission and April 5 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ new Veterans Center. Interviews are recorded on CDs and will be archived in the Library of Congress and aired on NPR. Appointments are necessary for these interviews and may be scheduled by emailing warriorsarts@gmail.com.

Our stories are as individual as our fingerprints, but they cement us in our relationships, our families, our communities and our world,” said Warriors Arts Director Deborah Marshall. “These opportunities for creative expression serve as keys to open the doors to additional conversations and understanding between veterans, families, artists and members of the community-at-large.

Support in part provided by
Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Humanities Council,
Arts and Education Council, Missouri Arts Council,
University of Missouri-St. Louis Veterans Center,
St. Louis Community College Veterans Affairs,
and VA St. Louis Healthcare Systems

Where: 
Regional Arts Commission
When: 
Apr 4 2013 to Apr 6 2013

Where We Can Read The Wind

Where We Can Read the Wind Book Cover

VSA Missouri’s Where We Can Read the Wind anthology features the work of 26 writers and artists with disabilities from across the state. It was named as one of the year’s “Best Books,” by Missouri Life magazine. The travelling exhibit features 10 professional visual artists included in the anthology.  As with the anthology, the exhibit demonstrates that work by artists with disabilities is just as varied and rich as any other diverse group of artists.

David Kontra, one of the 10 featured artists in the exhibit, started his art career at age nine as a way to cope with the loss of vision. He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at age 16 and today has less than five percent vision in his left eye and only light perception in his right. In his words, David says it is like looking through a straw and thus he has to rely on his memory in order to create his work.

The other participating artists are Christa Carpenter, Springfield, MO, Dave Carter, Kirksville, MO, Robert Cornman, Sunset Hills, MO, Shannon Drew, Wentzville, MO, Carol Fleming, St. Louis, MO, Lynne Green, St. Louis, MO, David Kontra, Norwood, MO, Hal Moran, St. Charles, MO, Patrick Patterson, Cape Girardeau, MO and John Robinson, Kansas City, MO.

The exhibit runs January 11, 2013 thru March 9, 2013 at the at the Regional Arts Commission at 6128 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112 from 5:30 – 7:30.

Where: 
Regional Arts Commission
When: 
Jan 11 2013 to Mar 9 2013

Art @ Des Peres Hospital

Art at Des Peres Hospital

Through the vision and support of Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis, MO, Art Saint Louis is pleased to join with VSA Missouri, the St. Louis Artists’ Guild and the Foundry Art Centre in presenting one of the largest collections of original, locally-made art in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Art @ Des Peres Hospital is a new and unique endeavor to connect and inspire our community through the work of local artists and enrich the lives of hospital patients, staff and visitors. As Des Peres Hospital CEO John Grah notes, “It is well documented that art can help in the healing process. Art can take us out of the moment by giving us something else to focus on. It is our hope with this exhibit that we can create a richer environment and a more pleasant experience for our patients and guests, not to mention our employees and medical staff.”

Incorporating an extensive amount of space on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of Des Peres Hospital, this project brings together a diverse community of artists and organizations dedicated to contemporary visual art, offering a rotating exhibition of art unlike any other in our region. Our shared goals for the program are:

  1. Create a dynamic, aesthetically rich and engaging environment through a multitude of artworks spanning a wide range of styles and expressions, to spark curiosity, elevate and enliven the intellectual and emotional wellbeing of hospital visitors and staff.
  2. Celebrate the work of local artists and further develop their audience by creating a new outlet through which artists can impact our community.

​Art @ Des Peres Hospital opens its fall/winter exhibition, featuring 138 original artworks by 20 St. Louis regional artists, on November 1, 2012, continuing through April 21, 2013. The spring/summer exhibition will open May 14, 2013, and continue through October 31, 2013. The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular hospital visiting hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: 
Des Peres Hospital
When: 
Nov 1 2012 to Apr 21 2013

VSA Missouri Anthology Reading, Signing, and Reception

cover of Turning the Clocks Forward Again, VSA Missouri Anthology 2013

The public is invited to join a wonderfully rich and varied line-up of artists and writers for a book signing, reading and reception celebrating publication of Turning the Clocks Forward Again, VSA Missouri’s hot off the press third anthology of work by Missouri writers and artists with disabilities. We will hear from contributing poets and writers as well as the anthology’s literary editor, Jessica Baran, recipient of the Besmilr Brigham Women Writers Prize, and our visual arts juror Peter Pranschke, recipient of the 2011 River Front Times MasterMind Award.

We will be celebrating the anthology’s launch on the evening of Monday June 24, 2013, at 7pm in the Carnegie Room on the third floor of the Central Library Branch located at 1301 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63103. There will be light refreshments as well as an opportunity to meet and celebrate the aritsts and writers that have participated in Turning the Clocks Forward Again. Copies of the book along with artwork and writing by contributors will be on display and available for sale.

“It was a true pleasure to have the opportunity to read the writing submissions for this year's VSA anthology. All of the contributions were singularly sincere, inventive and emotionally poignant. What felt rare was the work's consistent tone of necessity: this was writing done out of clear personal need, rather than mere whim or empty craft,” says literary editor Jessic Baran. In visual arts juror Peter Pranschke’s statement regarding his selections he offered these thoughts: “the work that made it into this anthology certainly deserves special consideration. These pieces stood out to me for their beauty, the skill with which they were crafted and their originality. The dedication and commitment it takes to create such works is remarkable.”

Artists and writers from sixteen cities and towns in Missouri were selected to participate. We are excited to have the following artists and writers featured in Turning the Clocks Forward Again: Janice Atkins Kansas City, MO, Tina Blatter Kansas City, MO, Dave Carter Kirksville, MO, Rob Cornman Sunset Hills, MO, Lisa Duncan Kirksville, MO, Matthew Freeman St. Louis, MO, Ted D. Gillespie St. Louis, MO, The Artist Grimm Cape Girardeau, MO, Rhiannon Gurley St. Louis, MO – Springfield, IL, Cate Kane Raymore, MO, Christopher Lee St. Louis, MO, Paul Lodes St. Louis, MO, Lynn May Richland, MO, DeAnna Quietwater Noriega Fulton, MO, Hal Moran St. Charles, MO, Amber Olney Pickering, MO, Thomas Park St. Louis, MO, Wm. Clark Porter Princeton, MO, Stephen Proski Kansas City, MO, Sheila R. Reed Chillicothe, MO, James A. Ross Trenton, MO, Kristin Sharp St. Louis, MO, Amanda Kay Stokes Kirksville, MO, Natalie Renee Toney St. Ann, MO, Kevin L. Wafford St. Louis, MO, Carl J. Weleba Bridgeton, MO, Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi St. Louis, MO

Please Join us for what is bound to be a unique and lively event celebrating the launch of Turning the Clocks Forward Again. The event is Monday June 24, 2013, at 7pm in the Carnegie Room on the third floor of the Central Library Branch located at 1301 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63103.

Where: 
Carnegie Room, Central Library Branch
When: 
Jun 24 2013 - 7:00pm

Art at the Table

VSA Missouri Art at the Table Announcement

October 17, 2013, VSA Missouri presents Art at the Table, featuring wine tasting, hors d'oevers, and silent auction. Live music by The Wild Grub String Band

Parker's Table
7118 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63139

Call 888-718-0866 or visit artatthetable.bpt.me to purchase tickets.
Tickets are $35 each.

Sponsered by Big Heart and Parker's Table.

When: 
Oct 17 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Visual Voices Project

Visual Voices Project

Come join in the inaugural opening of the Visual Voices Project (VVP), a novel student initiative sponsored by the Community Arts Initiative (CAI) that connects the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, MO to art-based community organizations in St. Louis!

To highlight the intersection between art and social work, a gallery space has been designated for 2D art pieces in the 1st floor hallway of Goldfarb Hall, Washington University in St. Louis campus. Art for the Spring 2014 iteration of the VVP is generously loaned from Turner Center of the Arts and VSA Missouri--both organizations that work with artists with disabilities.

VSA Missouri will be exhibiting the work of Natalie Renee Toney, Paul Lodes and The Artist Grimm. Take this opportunity to get to know and support artists in your community!

Date: Tuesday, March 18th Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Brown School of Social Work

Refreshments will be served.

Questions? Contact cai@brownschool.wustl.edu

Where: 
Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
When: 
Mar 18 2014 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Turning the Clocks Forward Again at West Elm

Turning the Clocks Forward Again at West Elm

Join us for Turning the Clocks Forward Again at West Elm

When: Saturday March 29th, 2014 12pm-5pm

Where: West Elm store in the St. Louis Galleria Mall. 1155 St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis, MO.

Poetry readings by Christoper Lee, Natalie Renee Toney, Matthew Freeman and Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi from 1-2 pm.

Also featuring an in-store art exhibition.

Works by artists Paul Lodes, Frank Enger, Lynne Green and The Artist Grimm will be on display and for sale!

Come celebrate with us!

For directions to West Elm please follow this link 

Where: 
West Elm store in the Galleria Mall in St. Louis, MO
When: 
Mar 29 2014 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Turning the Clocks Forward Again is traveling to Mt. Vernon, MO

Carl Weleba

Join us for the first exhibition in a series of traveling exhibitions for Turning the Clocks Forward Again an anthology and an exhibition of artwork by Missouri writers and artists living with disabilities. The public is invited to attend the opening reception of Turning the Clocks Forward Again on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Mt. Vernon Regional Arts Council in Mt. Vernon, MO located at 822 W. Mt. Vernon Blvd 65712 reception from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. The exhibit is on view from April 5, 2015 – June 7, 2014. If you have any questions you can call The Mt. Vernon Regional Arts Council at (417)466-2122.

VSA Missouri’s third visual and literary arts anthology Turning the Clocks Forward Again features the work of 27 writers and artists living with disabilities from across the state. The travelling exhibit features the artistic work of 12 professional visual artists included in the anthology. As with the anthology, the exhibit demonstrates that work by artists living with disabilities is just as varied and rich as any other diverse group of artists.

“All of the contributions were singularly sincere, inventive and emotionally poignant. What felt rare was the work's consistent tone of necessity: this was work done out of clear personal need, rather than mere whim or empty craft.” says literary editor Jessic Baran. In visual arts, juror, Peter Pranschke’s statement regarding his selections he offered these thoughts “the work that made it into this anthology certainly deserves special consideration. These pieces stood out to me for their beauty, the skill with which they were crafted and their originality. The dedication and commitment it takes to create such works is remarkable.”

The exhibiting visual artists featured in Turning the Clocks Forward Again include: Tina Blatter Kansas City, MO, Dave Carter Kirksville, MO, Rob Cornman Sunset Hills, MO, Ted D. Gillespie St. Louis, MO, The Artist Grimm Cape Girardeau, MO, Rhiannon Gurley St. Louis, MO – Springfield, IL, Paul Lodes St. Louis, MO, Lynn May Richland, MO, Hal Moran St. Charles, MO, Stephen Proski Kansas City, MO, Natalie Renee Toney St. Ann, MO and Carl J. Weleba Bridgeton, MO.

VSA Missouri is a statewide organization promoting access to the arts for people with disabilities. VSA Missouri envisions a truly inclusive community where people with disabilities participate in the same professional development, educational, and leisure opportunities in the arts as people without disabilities.

In 2009, VSA Missouri published its first anthology Blindness Isn’t Black, featuring the work of more than 20 Missouri artists and writers with mental or physical disabilities; this April, VSA released its second anthology, Where We Can Read the Wind, featuring the work of 26 writers and artists with disabilities from across the state in 2011.

Where: 
Mt. Vernon Regional Arts Council
When: 
Apr 5 2014 - 6:00pm to Jun 7 2014 - 5:00pm

Artist Talk: Mel Chin at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Mel Chin

VSA Missouri and the Contemporary Art Museum STL are teaming up to provide ASL interpreters at their up coming panel discussion with artist Mel Chin on September 6, 2014 at 11:00am. Please join us for this wonderful discussion about the artist's practice and exhibition, Rematch. Visit here for more info.

 

Where: 
3750 Washington Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108
When: 
Sep 6 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

VSA Missouri and Living Arts is having a party!

 

VSA MO is having an open house to show off our new location. Join us on October 14 from 5-7 to celebrate this
 huge milestone for us.

We ask that you donate an art supply as your ticket price! All supplies will be used in our
 new Living Arts program.

Living Arts is collaboration
 between Spirited Hands Studio and Bridges Community
 Support. 

The Mayor of Maplewood will perform a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5pm to inaugurate our wonderful space. 

There
 will be music, raffle prizes, food and drink. We are so
 excited and we want to share our excitement with you!!!!! 

Join us Tuesday October 14th, 2014

5-7pm at 2814 Sutton Blvd

Maplewood, MO 63143

Where: 
2814 Sutton Blvd Maplewood, MO 63143
When: 
Oct 14 2014 - 7:00pm

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