U.S. Army Veteran Mr. Ray Leonard who resides at the Butler VA Domiciliary was one of the Veterans who submitted art for a special display at the Butler VA Health Care System.
The Butler VA’s Education Department held its first Memorial Day Art Showcase in May, collecting and then displaying artwork related to the importance of the holiday. Over 35 pieces were submitted from Veterans, employees, family members, and classes from local schools.
U.S. Army Veteran Mr. Ray Leonard who resides at the Butler VA Domiciliary was one of the Veterans who submitted art for this special display. He also painted and gave two of his pieces to the facility. For Ray, painting and art are new to him, just within the last few months, but he finds these activities to be “the most relaxing and calming thing” he has ever tried.
“I can literally sit for hours with my paints and a canvas and just do my thing and be as relaxed and satisfied as anything I have ever done. I am also an avid wood worker, but nothing comes close to this,” he shared.
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. Ray encourages other Veterans to give art a try because it gives him more peace of mind than therapy sessions and recovery meetings.
“I feel it [art] is a way to express your feelings and to work through a lot of them by just expressing yourself whether it be painting, drawing, pottery, or any other form of art you may like. It is truly an outlet to your soul. I have never done something that has given me more satisfaction than painting.”
All artwork is still being displayed in the library for anyone interested in viewing it. Photos from the showcase, including Ray’s submissions are available on the Butler VA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/VAButlerPA.
The Butler VA encourages art as therapy and is providing free workshops for Veterans throughout the summer dedicated to creative arts. The Education Department looks forward to hosting more art showcases in the future as well. Learn more about the current creative art offerings by visiting the Butler VA Facebook page, or calling 878-271-6484.