Veteran art exhibit showcases how many cope with anxiety, pain, and PTSD

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Veteran artwork was on display Friday night at Flower City Studios in Rochester as part of Veterans Outreach Center’s “Armed with Creativity” exhibit.

The art exhibit shone light on the role art plays in helping veterans cope with anxiety, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s an event Veterans Outreach Center of Rochester Executive Director Laura Heltz said she was happy to host.

“This week is Suicide Prevention Week, and we have found that when veterans are able to come together, both in camaraderie with the art therapy groups and also in creating the art itself, it really helps reduce isolation and a lot of the other factors that lead to suicide,” Heltz said.

Will Page was among the veterans who had their artwork on display.

“We get to delve into our inner soul of our relationship with warfare, with weaponry, with humanity,” Page said.

After serving his country for six years as a Marine and machine gunner in the Vietnam War, Page said he hopes his painting helps others as much as it has helped him.

“If you’ve got a reason why you feel you have to kill and defend yourself, tell us about your pain, your angst, because pain pulls the trigger,” Page said.

It’s collection of art that Navy veteran Allen Stubinsky said will serve as a display of hope and healing for veterans.

“Art takes you out of yourself, for a time, and veterans seem to be, especially those in combat, under a lot of stress,” Stubinsky said.