Heartland veterans receive therapy through art lessons

Art therapy helps veterans.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 5:49 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Many people find painting, drawing, and crafting a good way to relieve stress.

But for local veterans, art therapy is helping them to connect with themselves and their community after service.

The Cape Girardeau VA Health Care Center and the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri are working together to bring creativity and relaxation to veterans through a new art class using creative techniques including drawing, painting, or coloring to help express themselves artistically.

Army veteran Tom Feltmann said learning new skills and the feeling of relaxation is exactly what he needs.

“Pretty much very stressed out most of the time and now I’m able to put paint to canvas and it’s helping me out control my anger,” he said.

Another veteran, Sandra Pulley, said the class is not only fun, but also provides her with some relief.

“I was not happy with what I was painting but now I am happy with the way it turned out because I was able to change things and so that allows us to change in us what we see that is tampering us,” said Pulley.

The art class is designed to help veterans experience all levels of art making, and to also build relationships.

Feltmann said participating in this class opened his eyes to a new hobby he never expected.

“I was just showing a few of the other people here I got my own studio now where I sit down, and I’ll just draw something and throw some paint on a canvas, but it really helps me be relieved,” he added.

The Cape Girardeau VA Health Care Center will begin their next art session in August. They also offer guitar and yoga classes for veterans.

The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is hoping to showcase the veterans final works in an official show in November.