A military art program developed specifically for current and former serving military veterans now living in Western Australia started this month.
The Military Art Program’s facilities and services, together with time from the program’s artists, are donated to provide an opportunity for veterans to learn and experience art classes in Perth.
According to Military Art Program Director Leza Howie, many of the program’s artists are well-known and many share a military background.
"The free program is widely endorsed and supported within the Defence community and other organisations, enabling regular monthly art activities, developed to provide an exploratory experience", she said.
Ms Howie said response to the program had been positive.
"We have had a very good response to registrations from Army and Navy through HMAS Stirling, but also from former serving members.
"Our classes are almost full for October to December and our first quarter program for January to April is about to be released and open for registration."
The program operates on anonymity and two Navy participants made the following comments.
"I would tell others considering the program that it’s fun, relaxing and a great way to meet new people, I enjoyed it thoroughly," one participant said.
"Art takes my mind away from everyday life, it’s a chill zone. I will most definitely being doing a lot more classes."
Among artists donating their time are Major Ian Young (retd), who served nine of his 22 years Army service with Special Air Service Regiment, Stan, a serving soldier, and Travis, who served 13 years full-time with the Army and remains an active reserve soldier.
Major Young said all through his Army service he found having a creative outlet of great benefit.
"It was a way I could relax, unwind and get a tangible result that I felt good about," he said.
"I think it’s fantastic the Military Art Program is providing this wonderful service to our servicemen and women, particularly those who are suffering as a result of their service to our country.
"Military life has few opportunities to be artistic or creative and I believe it’s important to have a balance in all aspects of life.
"So pursuing a creative outlet helped me achieve this balance."
For more information on the program contact: firstname.lastname@example.org