The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) is proud to present our Arts & Wellness program for Veterans. This program serves as an alternative method of healing through art classes and workshops that provide avenues of expression that go beyond those traditionally offered. Through innovative collaborations with organizations and specially trained artists, we have brought together the creative arts to this unique population in support of their recovery.

Spring 2019 Program Descriptions

 

Pottery for Veterans
Instructor: Gabriel Kline + Odyssey artists
Odyssey ClayWorks
Fridays, February 1 – April 5, 2019
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Ever wanted to try your hand at the potter’s wheel? Sculpt a likeness in clay? Create a custom tile for your kitchen or bath? Come join the instructors at Odyssey ClayWorks for a fun class just for veterans. We’ll provide an overview of the processes and techniques used to create amazing works of ceramic art in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Plenty of one on one attention from the instructors and a chance to use the raku kiln, make this an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in working with clay. This class is offered free of charge to veterans.

 

Word Alchemy: A Writing Class About Playing With Words
Instructor: Victoria Fann
North Asheville Library
Mondays, February 4 – 25, 2019
10:30 am – 12:30 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Words can limit you and words can free you. Words can wound you and words can heal you. Words can inhibit you and words can elevate you. What will you choose?

Using music, images, prompts, seed questions, partner and group exercises, we will immerse ourselves in the creative universe of the imagination, commune with the inner Muse and explore the hidden realms of the unconscious to call the formless into form. With a spirit of adventure, we will journey together into the mystery and return with a softer heart and a nourished soul. Translating our impressions into words, we’ll have opportunities to share our discoveries and become a mirror for others.

Bring your favorite pen and a journal or notebook and dress comfortably as we may spread out.

The class will be taught by Victoria Fann, a writer, creative coach, seasoned group facilitator and workshop leader with over thirty years of experience working with writers, artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, etc. Author of the recently published book, Creative Alchemy: Accessing the Power of the Muse to Transform Your Art & Your Life, her writing has also been published in numerous publications and anthologies including Women of Wisdom, Newsweek, Thought Catalog, Elephant Journal, Wake Up World, Medium, BioStories, etc.

 

Creative Writing and Poetry for Veterans
Instructor: Mary Ellen Lough
Goodwill Career Center – Classroom 181
Mondays, February 4 –  April 8, 2019
3:30 – 5:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Writing is a powerful way to explore memories, tell your story, and connect with other veterans. In each class, we read and reflect on poems and essays, then respond by writing something of our own. Veterans of all ages are welcome, and no previous writing experience is necessary. Sign up now!

 

Knitting for Veterans
Instructor: Joyce Tromba
AAAC Refinery Creator Space – Front Gallery
Wednesdays, February 6 – March 13, 2019
5:00 – 6:30 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Join textile artist Joyce Tromba at the Refinery Creator Space for a veteran’s knitting circle. No experience necessary.

In this class, you will learn the basics of knitting and make a cozy, unisex hat in the process. You will learn the basics: how to casts on, knit, purl and decrease stitches and how to finish the hat with an optional pom-pom. If you are an absolute beginner or if have learned how to knit at some point but never gone beyond an uneven scarf, this class is for you. Knitting is a great skill to have. Research shows it’s as powerful as meditation to calm your nerves, it’s a portable, sociable activity and best of all you get a finished product at the end. We’ll have all the supplies you need to make a hat and we’re looking forward to seeing you.  Sign up now!

 

Poetry and Creative Writing as Tool for Recovery
Instructor: Mary Ellen Lough
Buncombe County Courthouse – Jury Room 9th floor
Fridays, February 15 –  April 26, 2019
9:00 – 10:30 am

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Writing is a powerful way to dig more deeply, explore memories, tell your story, and connect with other veterans. In each class, we read and reflect on poems and essays, then respond by writing something of our own. Veterans of all ages are welcome, and no previous writing experience is necessary. Sign up now!

 

Creative Writing and Poetry for Veteran’s Spouse, Family Members and Caregivers
Instructor: Mary Ellen Lough
Refinery Creator Space
Tuesdays, February 19 –  April 23, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Come gather around the table for evenings of insightful talk and chances to connect with others who have shared your experiences. Explore your own inner world through writing. No previous writing experience necessary. All are welcome and wanted.  Tea and snacks will be provided. Sign up now!

 

Pottery for Veterans – 1 Day Workshop
Instructor: Gabriel Kline + Odyssey artists
Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center
Thursday, February 21, 2019
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Ever wanted to try your hand at the potter’s wheel? Sculpt a likeness in clay? Create a custom tile for your kitchen or bath? Come join the instructors of Odyssey ClayWorks at the Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center for a fun class just for veterans. We’ll provide an overview of the processes and techniques used to create amazing works of ceramic art in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Plenty of one on one attention from the instructors make this an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in working with clay. This class is offered free of charge to veterans.

 

Music for Veterans
Instructor: Gene Peyroux
Goodwill Career Center, Classroom 181
Mondays, February 25 – April 29, 2019
5:15 – 6:45 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

The PRRC Veterans Songwriting Project music group is an immersive 10-week, interactive instrument and voice musical program. The program is designed to provide our community of Veterans fellowship, camaraderie, and personal growth through Group playing/singing, songwriting, as well as personal coaching in songwriting, guitar/ukulele, and hand percussion technique. Through the healing power of music and poetry, we will encourage our participants to engage in expressing themselves through their stories, poems, instruments, and voices. The program will culminate in a public performance featuring material produced by the Vets themselves. Sign up now!

 

Weaving for Veterans
Instructor: Melanie Wilder
Local Cloth – AAAC Refinery Creator Space
Mondays, March 4 – 25, 2019
3:00 – 6:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Weaving is a powerful vehicle in which to grow in community and experience healing through a tactile and full body experience. In this 4-week course, we will learn about various weaving structures and processes, and explore both the conceptual and functional aspects that textiles give. Workshop participants will weave a scarf or other project of choice. Sign up now!

 

Art and Yoga
Instructor: Cara McKinney
South Buncombe Library
Tuesdays, March 5 – 26, 2019
11:00 am – 1:30 pm   

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Veterans will practice objectivity and a journey inward through intentional movement, art, stillness, and writing in this class led by artist instructor Cara McKinney. This experience will explore and perhaps challenge our ideas of strength, balance, flexibility, and wholeness. It is a guided deep relaxation, a brief concentration or meditation, a series of movements, and a guided pastel drawing using color and word to express our experience of self. It is as light and silly and/or as austere as we want it to be.

Participants can expect to get a bit dirty using pastels for large scale drawing, (don’t worry, it washes out), and to create a life size “body map” bringing to life observations of the observance of self-reflection. All levels experience welcome. Sign up now!

 

Pottery for Veterans – 1 Day Workshop
Instructor: Gabriel Kline + Odyssey artists
Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center
Thursday, March 21, 2019
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Ever wanted to try your hand at the potter’s wheel? Sculpt a likeness in clay? Create a custom tile for your kitchen or bath? Come join the instructors of Odyssey ClayWorks at the Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center for a fun class just for veterans. We’ll provide an overview of the processes and techniques used to create amazing works of ceramic art in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Plenty of one on one attention from the instructors make this an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in working with clay. This class is offered free of charge to veterans. Sign up now!


Drawing Workshop for Veterans
Instructor: Joseph Pearson
Stephens Lee Recreation Center
Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:00 – 4:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Join teaching artist and veteran, Joseph Pearson, for a drawing workshop where participants will learn the four basic steps of making a drawing. Each participant is asked to bring three objects of personal significance to the session. This class will allow veterans to explore their deeper feelings about items that are meaningful to them by creating their own still life drawing. The artists will bring their own interpretation to the lesson, resulting in a unique work of art of immense personal and artistic value. Sign up now!

 

Felting for Veterans
Instructor: Joan Berner
Local Cloth – AAAC Refinery Creator Space
Mondays, April 1 -15, 2019
3:00 – 6:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Join fiber artist Joan Berner for a three week felting series at the Refinery Creator Space. Participants will create a hat, scarf and bag, while learning 3D and flat felting methods. No experience necessary.  Sign up now!

 

Drawing Workshop for Veterans (5 Week Class)
Instructor: Joseph Pearson
South College
Thursdays, May 2 – 30, 2019
1:00 – 4:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Join teaching artist and veteran, Joseph Pearson, for a drawing workshop where participants will learn the four basic steps of making a drawing. Each participant is asked to bring three objects of personal significance to the session. This class will allow veterans to explore their deeper feelings about items that are meaningful to them by creating their own still life drawing. The artists will bring their own interpretation to the lesson, resulting in a unique work of art of immense personal and artistic value. Sign up now!

 

Batik for Veterans
Instructor: Jessica Kaufman
Waxon Studios | 726 Haywood Rd, 28806

Saturday, May 4, 2019   Sign up now!

Saturday, June 8, 2019   Sign up now! 

1:00 – 4:00 pm

FREE, but pre-registration is required

Come do a deep dive into the amazing world of batik! Starting with a white cotton square, we will learn methods from around the world for applying natural beeswax to fabric. Using paint brushes, Indonesian tjanting tools, and Indian woodblocks, we will transform your piece of cloth into a wall-worthy work of art. Each participant will learn how to apply the wax and immerse their cloth in a dye color of their choosing. Any shade is possible! The workshop takes about 3 hours, though some folks might finish faster. Enjoyable for beginners or experienced fiber artists.

 

 


We would like to give a special thank you to all of our community partners at Linwood Crump Shiloh Center, Odyssey ClayWorks, ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters, Charles George VA Medical Center, and ABCCM’s Steadfast House.

 

 

 

2017 – 2018 Impact

 

 

The following quotes from participants in the program embody the importance of these offerings:

“It has been therapeutic for me to be in a group that has had experiences akin to my own, with people who recount incidents and feeling that resonate with me. This has freed me to talk about hard things that I’d never spoken of to anyone.”

“This has been the best and most beneficial group I have experienced at the VA hospital.”

“It allows veterans to come to grips with trying life experiences and tribulations in a different positive way.”

 

Arts & Wellness in the Press

         

 

The Arts & Wellness program for Veterans is generously funded by:

of the Community Foundation of  Western North Carolina

of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

This project is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.