Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Local Vet Wins Gold at National Arts Competition
Navy and Vietnam Veteran William Elliott won a gold medal for his entry in the National Veterans’ Creative Arts Festival – a linocut print titled “Alas, Curiosity.”
He has been invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the week of October 28 – November 4, 2019, where his piece will be on display in the art and writing exhibition and stage show performance on Sunday, November 3.
“I view art as metaphor and in this case employed a severely pruned and gnarled shrub in a pot to convey the feeling of anguish that a child or person experiences when natural curiosity is discouraged and strictly guided,” said Elliott.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music for Veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs national health care system and is co-presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary. The competition is an annual event that provides Veterans enrolled at VA facilities the opportunity to showcase their creative self-expressions in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music.
“Art is unquestionably therapeutic,” he said. “The process of creating art involves permitting the exploration of the subconscious self, recognizing aspects of experience that may or may not have been suppressed, and owning experiences by converting them into art.”
Elliott said he was being treated at the Michael E. DeBakey VA several years ago when he found out about the arts festival.
“I typically spend months creating a work,” he said. “Executing an idea is a learning experience for me and results in many modifications before I am satisfied with my effort.”
When asked how he got into printmaking, Mr. Elliott said he had a bucket list that included learning the basics of drawing. He took a class and enjoyed it so much he began taking various community college art classes that led to printmaking.