Art & Veteran Mental Health
Visions for Vets is a non-profit art school in St. Louis, Missouri, that enriches and preserve the lives of our Military Veterans while empowering them through the healing power of the arts. We see positive changes in our Veterans’ mental health as they build relationships and bonds with one another and grow in their artistic abilities. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, V4V is an independent non-profit, 501 (c)(3), and is not affiliated with or funded by any government or VA program.
After a mandatory Navy retirement due to injury, Scott Beaty was saddened (and a little angry) that his 20-year Navy submarine career was over. His last minute in uniform was literally when the second plane struck the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. He wanted to stay in uniform and assist, but was denied. Scott was shattered – he had to stand by helplessly as a newly retired Veteran and watch our world crumble.
Looking to reintegrate and explore a less stressful civilian career, he went back to school and found he had a talent for painting. He soon realized his love for art was also a gateway to his own healing and mental health. Discovering therapy in art, he began pursuing it all the way to earning a Master’s Degree in Fine Art. He entered several national Veteran Art Shows and competitions with thousands of competitors and won! His passion for art led him to start helping Veterans close to home find freedom, purpose, and mental health; in 2015, Visions for Vets was born!
Free Veteran Art Classes
Visions for Vets offers a variety of free one-on-one art classes, starting with beginner and progressing up to college level. These classes are for all Veterans and their caregivers (spouses, siblings, family members) in several disciplines of visual arts. We provide extra assistance to Vets who struggle with emotional and physical issues, no matter how severe the illness, injury, or emotional state.
We currently offer the following disciplines:
- Mixed media skills
As we grow, we look forward to adding more classes including photography, digital design, bookmaking, and many others. Vets are also encouraged to explore new mediums, develop their own ideas, and stretch their creativity in a relaxed, fun, and non-threatening environment with other Vets, family members, and volunteer artists.
Presently Visions for Vets holds classes every Friday evening at 6:00 PM and every Saturday Morning at 8:00 AM. We are located at Fontbonne University in the Fine Arts Building, 6800 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63010. If you’re in the greater St. Louis area, you’re not far away!
Our art program not only improves Veteran mental health – the healing they experience allows them to have an easier time reintegrating into their civilian lives and finding employment. Together, as an Artist and Veteran Community, we build confidence, self-worth, and become empowered! Labels like “disabled,” “PTSD,” and “retired Vet” melt away and we prove that we are every bit as valuable and talented as any other civilian.
Extensions of Our Art Program
Visions for Vets has expanded beyond the classroom to continue our mission with our Veteran Artists serving the community. A few of our other programs include:
- Vets Helping Vets
- Community Outreach
- Beautifying Parks & Urban Areas
- Preserving History
- Endorse & Support Other Veteran Organizations
Contact Us Today
Visions for Vets wants to continue to improve Veteran mental health and change the public’s perception of their capabilities. Help us expand our vision and create a community for our returning Vets that is encouraging and hopeful. If you’d like to help, we have many ways for you to be a volunteer, donate, connect, and share in our Visions for Vets program. Contact us today for more information and be sure to check out our gallery of beautiful artwork. 314-800-5902
Creativity takes courage.
– Henri Matisse