COLORADO SPRINGS — Pikes Peak State College, along with Mt. Carmel Veteran Service Center, has put together an art gallery comprised entirely of work from veterans in our community. It's called the Veterans Voices Art Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs and is open until November 22nd.
"I feel like it gives veterans a voice, but also shows appreciation of what they've done," said Air Force veteran and President of the Pikes Peak Art Council Robert Gray.
This is the third year PPSC has hosted the veteran art gallery in November. This year, they were able to feature the works of 7 veterans.
"I think it's a great opportunity to show the community that veterans can be just as versatile and interesting as any other people," said Marine veteran Sam Ken.
"I feel like my art is a way to speak without actually verbally speaking, you know?" said Army veteran Wen Anderson.
Gray, Ken, and Anderson all have their work on display at the gallery this year. They say their work has major therapeutic benefits, but it's evolved to be so much more than that.
"When I'm doing street photography, it helps me be more present, but also reminds me of the importance of being adaptable, because you have to adapt to your situation based on where you are, which is a lot like life," Gray told me.
"Sometimes there's nothing going through my mind, it's very meditative," remarked Ken.
"For me personally, I can feel like it's an important outlet," said Anderson.
All three veterans are thrilled to have found a tight-knit community of artists in the Pikes Peak Region. Gray told me that it resembled the comradery many veterans feel during their time in the military.
"Before I joined, I had an idea of people that are serving our country, I feel like you just think of them as soldiers. I think this is a good opportunity to say 'Wow, these people are doing art, they're doing all kinds of things with their lives', and I think it's great to show that side," said Anderson.
The art gallery is having a reception on Friday, November 3 from 5-8 pm. All artists will be available to discuss their work with the public.
If you want to see some work from any of the artists featured in this story, you can do so below.
Wen Anderson is on Instagram here.
Robert Gray has his portfolio online, which you can see here.
Sam Ken is on Instagram here.
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