veterans exploring the visual arts

classes run february 16 - November 2, meeting on select thursdays from 2-4pm

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." -Aristotle

Art is a powerful tool. It gives us the opportunity to look within and without, to develop a second sight in regard to our own thoughts and feelings. In creating art we develop our sense of creativity– that shifting tide of ideas that carries us,   rising and falling–which flows through us in ways that are equally uplifting, engaging, frustrating and rewarding.            It is this process itself that's just as important as the final work produced.

But art is more than just a mirror and a means to self-discovery. It is also a healing force that powerfully connects us, conveying our shared experiences through expressive lines, colors and shapes. Art brings us closer. It inspires compassion, empathy and change.  It speaks to us on a level where words often fail. And, art can been found anywhere. It does not simply reside on the walls in a museum, but exists even in the smallest of scribbles made by a child's hand. So, allow yourself to be bold. Explore your creative boundaries and be swept along by your imagination. Allow yourself to dream. To draw or paint. Take a photograph. Dare to see the world through an artist's eyes. Then connect and share your vision with the person next to you. It is through this action that art becomes truly meaningful. 

         Programming Director, Art in Action

         Programming Director, Art in Action


These small group sessions allow veterans to meet and learn from professional artists, to discover and cultivate their own talents, and to transform their experiences through thoughtful and therapeutic forms of self-expression.

After each session, an image gallery and journal reflection will explain the activity and showcase the work produced. Many thanks to all our participants for their hard work and commitment, and to the instructors and volunteers who help make this program possible.

A huge note of thanks to our many community partners for their financial support!

Please click here to learn more about our sponsors.



art in action: activity highlights and reflections from march 9th



It was an honor to be invited to be a part of this program and work with such an enthusiastic group. I’m grateful for their service and I hope that they will continue to grow and be nurtured by the creative process.
— John Graham, Artist and Owner of Salvo Art Project


The monoprinting technique–a cross between printing and painting–is considered a "one-off" method.  The process is simple, and no special equipment (nothing beyond a few basic supplies) is needed to accomplish truly unique works of art. First, a painting is made on top of a piece of glass. It can be an original, or copied from a drawing or photograph beneath the glass. A large sheet of mixed-media paper is then gently laid on top and rubbed with a roller, spoon or even the artists' hand if they so inclined. The pressure can be varied to create different effects. Once the paper is carefully lifted away from the glass, you reveal the impression left behind. At this stage, you can immediately make another one if there is still a fair amount of paint left, or the glass can be dampened to encourage the left-over paint to smear, creating a more painterly, impressionistic effect the second time around. Typically, you want to work as fast as possible to prevent the paint from drying and therefore not transferring properly. However, some mistakes and other unintentional variations in this process can result in very favorable outcomes.


art in action: activity highlights and reflections from FEBRUARY 16th




Photograms are the direct traces of objects on a photosensitive surface (usually paper) made without lenses or special optics. The area surrounding the object darkens from its exposure to light, while the area covered by the object remains white–or reveals subtler shades of gray–depending upon the object's opaqueness or the number of overlapping materials. By utilizing carefully chosen objects and incorporating elements of movement, an artist can selectively interrupt the passage of light to create both interesting and self-expressive works of art.

By placing objects (some found, borrowed or bought from home) on light-sensitive paper, our group crafted beautiful compositions of interlocking shadows and shapes–some even using their hands to form an image or leave a lasting imprint. A few incorporated military symbols–ID tags, medals, pins, flags, silhouettes of replicas and other reminders of their service–to create pieces with profound meaning. Others used items like light bulbs, coins, intricate gears, small numbers and models, jewelry, feathers and flowers to convey their thoughts.

Some are complete works of abstraction: a series of thin, white lines converge and seem to have no beginning or end, rather like synapes firing at random. Others bear the distinct impression of the objects rolled across them: a collection of skeleton keys leaves dramtic silhouettes with delicate ghosting around the edges. To make even more unique photograms, our group experimented with painting and pouring techniques, and found that the chemistry itself could be used as an artistic component.




John joseph graham - salvo art project

special guest: thursday, march 9, 2017

John Graham is an expressionist painter whose work often depicts a psychological response to both an inner and outer landscape.  In 2009, he was chosen by the Gargiulo Art Foundation as the Artist of the Year for furthering art in his community, where he continues to work as an artist, curator and teacher. He is co-founder of The Southeastern Coalition of Contemporary Artists and The Salvo Art Project. His work is in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain and Poland.

robbin wren - two birds pottery

special guest: thursday, april 13 and thursday, may 18, 2017

Robbin Wren is originally from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in decorative and functional pottery, which she accentuates with lovely, carved designs. She has been working with clay for over 20 years, and taught wheel and slab work in Stone Mountain, GA at the Art Station before moving to Palm Coast, FL.  She was an instructor at FTI, teaching young adults with disabilities how to market their art and to support themselves using their talents and abilities. She currently sells her work through craft fairs and artisan markets, and offers private lessons to young or upcoming artists.

patrick van dusen - photographer

special guest: thursday, june 8, 2017

Patrick Van Dusen graduated from Florida A&M University, majoring in photography, and he taught for 37 years at Daytona State College, retiring in April 2011. His photography experience includes photojournalism, portraits and weddings. He is the volunteer with the longest time of service for Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare, a Daytona Beach rehabilitation facility, where he conducts therapeutic photography sessions.


bill myers - woodcarver

special guest: thursday, july 27, 2017

Bill is the President of the Friends Carving Club of Port Orange and is graciously donating many of his own supplies to our Art in Action program. He served in the Navy, and was a Senior Engineer for General Motors. He now operates his own woodcarving business. He also shares his love and knowledge of fishing through Project Healing Waters, which is dedicated to the rehabilitation of disabled military service personnel through fly fishing, fly tying and associated activities.


nancy newlove Mcelroy - nancy newlove pottery

guest: thursday, august 24 and thursday, september 7, 2017

Nancy established her line of decorative earthenware, Nancy Newlove Pottery, since retiring and moving here a few years from New York. She holds a degree from Alfred University: College of Ceramic Art and Design and has worked professionally in Vermont and taught pottery throughout the years. Several of her pieces have been on display in galleries in New York, and are now winning awards here in Palm Coast. Nancy is an active member of the Flagler County Art League and the Florida Women's Art Association.