Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

This past week I was invited to do a seminar in cartooning and caricaturing for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival here in San Antonio at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. I did the seminar as well as 3 sessions of drawing the attendees over a 3 day period.

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is an annual event sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs,

American Legion Auxiliary and Help Hospitalized Veterans.

To explain what they do the qoute below is from the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

(Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (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. Across the country each year, veterans treated at VA medical centers compete in a local creative arts contest. This competition includes 50 art categories that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 120 categories pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing. The creative writing division is a more recent addition to the competition and includes original works in poetry, essay, short story, and personal experience writing. A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. Select winners are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival each year.

In 2008, 3100 veterans from 113 VA facilities entered the contest nationwide, with nearly 150 of the medal-winning veterans earning an invitation to participate in the 2008 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Riverside, California. In 2009, the event will be held in San Antonio, Texas, October 5-11, hosted by the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.)

I over heard this year it started with over 4,000 veterans, from the different VA facilities, who entered the contest.

Sunday, it was overcast and raining so rather go to my outdoor retail space, I went to the exhibit at the Municipal Auditorium. I am glad I did! Not only did I see some beautiful artwork, the performance program was well worth it. It was like “Veterans got Talent.” The Mistess of Ceremonies was Heloise from “Hints from Heloise” a San Antonio native.

Rather than show you the photos of the drawings that I did of them... here are some photos of the people I drew with their entry in the contest. If my cell phone photos are not clear go to where you can view more of the great art.

This young man 'Ken" told me after his injury that the doctors tell him at this time he has the mind of a five year old... But he says he is going to get back to where he was. From looking at his entry, I asked him if he can play chess, and he told me "No, I use to play chess, they are going to teach me how to play checkers first, then they will teach me chess. But first they are teaching me to read and write again."

This drawing was drawn with color pencil.

These are a few of the photos I have... I will try and put some up later

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