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Jan 28, 2011 12:22 AM by Dr. Anya Winslow

Soldiers tackle war wounds using a new arsenal

Paints, brushes, and canvases compose this new armory, which is housed at the Bemis School of Art at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, and soldiers use these tools to heal on a weekly basis.

Aspen Pointe and the Fine Arts Center teamed up to create the Military Creative Expressions program. Art therapy is at the heart of the program in which many participating soldiers heal from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) through painting.

Art therapy instructor Kim Nguyen says, "The purpose is not to paint pretty pictures, but [for the participating soldiers] to learn tools for life."

Many of the soldiers in the program are not only healing through art, but are unleashing the hidden artist within. The program has flourished and students' work is currently on display at the ARTSpace Gallery in the Hillside Community Center.

The work is powerful. ARTSpace curator Senga Nengudi Fittz says, "This is an opportunity for them to use art as a healing tool and it's amazing because all of their passion comes out on the canvas."

You can help support their healing journey by purchasing the paintings. All the proceeds go into a scholarship fund for soldiers to continue their healing journey through art, as well as for them to continue their art education.

"[The soldiers] understand the connection of the power of art to heal and to further this [opportunity], they need funding," adds Fittz.

You can view the paintings at Hillside Community Center until Friday, January 28, 2011. Click here for more information about Hillside.

If you miss seeing the exhibit at Hillside, do not worry. Sometime in this June the exhibit plans to grow and move to Imagination Celebration.

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