About the Art Exhibit

Submission Deadline: June 16, 2017

Exhibit Dates: August 5-31, 2017

Location: Gallery8k, The Hyman Pedestrian mall, Aspen, Colorado

Challenge America has secured gallery space on the popular Hyman Avenue Pedestrian Mall for its first annual veteran art exhibit, featuring the works of veteran artists in a variety of media such as but not limited to visual arts, ceramics, bronze, photography, music, and creative writing. This event will celebrate the accomplishments of veteran artists, endeavor to raise the public profile of the military healing arts, and foster support for veteran artists and art therapy programs. Challenge America expects this exhibit will create positive incentives for veteran artists to continue their efforts while also generating public awareness of and support for the military healing arts.

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" . . . as veteran artists improve their skill over time, there are few opportunities to display and indeed sell their work. The veteran art exhibit endeavors to address these challenges."

Arts created by an individual covering the spectrum from clinical art theory to community therapeutic arts engagement offer veterans creative opportunities to cope with the physical and psychological scars of service-related trauma and thereby foster their successful reintegration into civilian society. In this respect, these interventions are integral parts of the broader turn to a holistic approach to veteran wellness.  However, this more holistic approach has yet to move beyond the clinical or programmatic setting; consequently, these efforts have thus far failed to generate the public awareness and public support needed to ensure these initiatives will endure. Furthermore, as veteran artists improve their skill over time, there are few opportunities to display and indeed sell their work. The veteran art exhibit endeavors to address these challenges.

The National Exhibit of Veteran Art includes the following features. The initiative begins with a national call for submissions, which will undergo review from a panel of expert judges recruited from the Aspen art community. Artists will be allowed a maximum of three submissions in the media of their choosing. As part of this submission processes, artists will have the opportunity to sell their works during the exhibit. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to also display their works on a digital gallery hosted in the Challenge America website. This digital gallery offers Challenge America the opportunity to overcome the physical constraints of its gallery space to feature a larger number of artists and works. The digital gallery will go live after the exhibit opening and will also offer the opportunity for artists to sell their work. In addition, Challenge America will also extend invitations to a select group of artists to receive free travel and lodging to the opening night activities. To maximize gallery visits, Challenge America has coordinated the opening night to coincide with a community art walk organized by the Aspen Chamber of Commerce. A comprehensive marketing plan, including social and print media, will target residents and resort guests to maximize gallery visits.

Ultimately, Challenge America expects this event to provide accomplished veteran artists the incentives to continue their work, inspire other veterans to participate in art therapy programs, and raise greater public awareness of and support for the military healing arts.