Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Two Muskogee Veterans Will Showcase Their Talents at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
September 20, 2010
Two Muskogee Veterans were invited to showcase their talents at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, which will be hosted by the Tomah VA Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis., Oct. 18-24.
Pamela Wells and Donald Johnson are among 143 Veterans from across the country who were invited to attend the festival following a nationwide VA creative arts competition earlier this year.
A total of 3,625 Veterans from 122 VA facilities competed in 176 categories which included performing arts such as music, dance, drama, and creative writing, as well as visual arts ranging from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits.
A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. First place winners are then invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival each year, which is co-sponsored by the VA, the American Legion Auxiliary and Help Hospitalized Veterans.
On Oct. 24, the general public is invited to view artwork and dramatic and musical performances at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center in La Crosse, Wis.
Wells, a U.S. Army Veteran who served from 1975 to 1978 including a tour of duty in Korea, won first place in solo comedy and will perform with other Veterans at the festival during a musical and dramatic performance for the public on Oct. 24.
Johnson, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-1967, won first place in colored drawing and will showcase a Trompe L’oeil colored drawing of fading photographs during the festival. Johnson is also an Emeritus Professor from Emporia State University, which is located in Flint Hills, Kan.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is a week of learning, exploring, fellowship and celebration of the healing power of the arts. During the week of the event, participants may attend classes in fine, applied and craft art which are all taught by local artists.
Veterans will also visit a variety of local attractions including art museums and galleries, as well as other venues of interest to area visitors.
Nationwide, VA medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.