Art Classes for All Veterans St. Louis
Are you a St. Louis Veteran struggling with emotional issues like reintegration into family life or PTSD? Do you have life-altering physical injuries? Are you a Vet looking to connect with other Veterans? Visions for Vets welcomes you! Join us for our free visual arts classes open to all Veterans. We create art with total freedom of expression, opening the door to processing emotions and managing PTSD, finding purpose, and healing. As Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
A Little About PTSD & Art
Visions for Vets caters to ALL Veterans – not just those with PTSD, though most Veterans have some form of emotional trauma from our time of service. PTSD is a real issue and often goes undiagnosed because once a Vet is diagnosed, he or she is forever labeled “disabled” and his entire future is altered. So, what is PTSD and how does art help?
Military men and women are exposed to multiple traumatic events during their time of service, including combat exposure, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, physical injuries that render them unable to serve, and witnessing or being part of terrible acts that civilians could never understand.
The emotional scars are buried deep, often leading to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD can include feelings of confusion, anger, fear, nightmares, and loss of sleep, loss of appetite, an inability to be in “normal” civilian relationships and environments, and a general feeling of being lost and wanting to give up. This affects many of our men and women who have served in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy.
Our art program dramatically improves Veteran mental health, including PTSD. Creating art with complete freedom of expression eases reintegration into civilian life with a greater sense of confidence and often leads to employment. Together, our Artist and Veteran Community builds self-worth and we 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.
Vets Healing Through Art
Our Visions for Vets program is a free St. Louis art school with professional Artists and College Art Graduates teaching classes from beginner to college level. Classes are free 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.
Art Class Information
- Members must be a Veteran with a few exceptions. Any spouse, family member or acting caregiver that provides transportation for the Veteran member, is welcome to fully participate in our workshops for free.
- Members are welcome to participate in all events and as many as they wish.
- We do not have an application but we have a contact information and questionnaire sheet that we keep on file for every member.
- During every class, we provide a free meal that we share together.
- Visions for Vets meets every Friday night at 6:00 PM and Saturday morning at 8:00 AM at Fontbonne University, Fine Arts Building, 6800 Wydown Blvd. Clayton, MO 63010.
Visions for the Future & Employment
While having fun and building camaraderie is an integral part of our mission, we also provide Veterans with a pathway to employment in the arts. Our plan is to develop into a social enterprise and include the following ideas into our repertoire:
- Visions for Vets Art Gallery
- Visions for Vets Scholarship for the Arts
- Visions for Vets Trade School
- Visions for Vets Online Marketplace
Vets Helping Vets
One of our core values is “Vets Helping Vets.” We encourage our Veterans to help one another on art projects and in life in general. Team projects encourage mentorship as Veterans build bonds with one another and grow in their artistic abilities. Our artists love to share newly learned skills and works of art, as well as swapping war stories and military inside jokes.
As part of our belief in Vets helping Vets, we also endorse and support other Veteran organizations, recognizing our “brothers in arms” in the fight to honor and serve our deserving Veterans.
Vets Helping the Community
Once Veterans have gained confidence in their newly found, rekindled, or enhanced art skills, they’re ready to serve all over again. Service is at the heart of Visions for Vets as we seek to help Veterans continue their mission through art, building important relationships in the community, and instilling pride in our Veteran Artists.
Community outreach helps with the difficult process of reintegration into society. We have several V4V team projects that bring Veterans together to serve the St. Louis community.
- MONUMENT TEAM & MURAL TEAM work on large-scale monuments and large murals together to tell the story of the American Veteran as well as beautify parks, public spaces, and urban areas, using either 3D or 2D art disciplines.
- DOCUMENTATION Projects tell the stories of Veterans who have served, preserving memories for generations to come through artwork.
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH to inner city children, retirement homes, and others in need of peace and joy – teaching art just as they were taught, bringing the healing full circle.
Volunteer, Donate, Connect
If you’re interested in helping, we always need volunteers for our Mess Guest Program and in other areas. Since we are a donation-based non-profit, donations help tremendously, and proceeds from our apparel and artwork go directly to the program. If you are a Veteran or a Veteran caregiver who wants to help and connect, please contact Scott today.314-800-5902
Our veterans deserve appreciation, dedication, and respect; Vision for Vets is proud to be providing that to our Veterans and their families. Like and share us on Facebook to not only watch our artists finish their amazing masterpieces, but spread the word.