/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
For veterans, art a chance for much-needed release

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn -- An art exhibit opening Friday in Minneapolis is the culmination of more than two years of teaching military veterans to express themselves through art and resolve difficult emotions stemming from past conflict or trauma

Eighteen veterans will have pieces in the mixed media show that includes painting, photography, ceramics, metalwork, sculpture, prints, glass and collage work

One of the veterans, John Finlay who served in the Marine Corps, said that working with pottery makes him feel calm He likes making ceramics on the potters wheel but said the more hands-on techniques of hand-building with clay suit him better

"I was looking for a way that I can release stress," he said "I like doing slab, I like doing coil It's a little more controlling for me"

Finlay and the other two veterans worked on a recent afternoon in a south Minneapolis studio as part of a program called Veterans in the Arts The recently formed non-profit offers hands-on art classes in a variety of mediums for free The goal is to give veterans the skills to express themselves creatively throughout their lives

Finlay said he gets a lot of satisfaction from making art in the company of his fellow military veterans

"It was a nice atmosphere to have and to be able to share ideas," Finlay said "If I thought of an idea, asking it, putting it out there and seeing if people responded, seeing how they felt about it and then overall seeing if it's possible And if it is possible then I ran with it and then if it wasn't possible, back to the drawing board"

But the program is not meant to be therapy, said its founder Suzanne Asher

"We are not therapists, we are artists," Asher said "We are taught by really fine artists who have the broad skills to be able to work with the veteran to say 'okay you want to do this thing, this is pretty complicated this is what you're going to have to do first' "

"I felt so comfortable when I was done that I had produced something out of all this agony"
- Veterans in the Arts founder Suzanne Asher

Asher is an Air Force veteran who worked with nuclear weapons She was the first woman to serve in many of her units
She said she was inspired to form Veterans in the Arts after making a piece of art out of one of her old military uniforms

"I felt so comfortable when I was done that I had produced something out of all this agony," Asher said "That is the role the arts can play when you have emotions that you, you just don't know what to do with"

Veterans in the Arts partners with organizations around the Twin Cities to teach different art-making techniques Some of the instructors are also military veterans

The understanding they share offers traumatized veterans much-needed peace

Veteran Tom Youness struggled for decades with undiagnosed mental health problems after getting home from Vietnam
"You get home and you don't really, really relax You think you are but you're really not," Youness said "You're always on edge about something, loud noises, whatever I'm much calmer now I had one nightmare for, I'm not exaggerating, probably 10,000 times in 30 some years"

A few years ago, Youness finally got the treatment he needed to get well He said Veterans in the Arts helps in a way he didn't anticipate Making art in a roomful of veterans provides healing camaraderie

"I didn't join it for the therapeutic value but it's sort of ended up that way We've sort of become friends," Youness said
Youness has two ceramic pieces in this weekend's show

Asher said the veterans in the group are excited for their first-ever gallery show

"It took a great deal of courage for them to do so because we don't want to say that our art is super great," Asher said "We feel very humbled by what our talents are but it's real art It comes from the heart and for that reason a lot of the veterans said I want to show it I want to share it"

The Veterans in the Arts show runs through the weekend at the Minneapolis Photo Center

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
April 26, 2013

Ninteen artist veterans participated in the show Representing the Minnesota National Guard were Matt Krousey (2003-2012) and Jody Patton (1998-2001)
Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Article archive