LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley College Veterans Art Show will honor local veteran artists and their work, beginning Wednesday.
The opening day artists reception and talk will take place from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the AVC Art Gallery, 3041 West Ave. K, Building FA-1. The art will be on exhibit through March 1.
“It’s a way to get recognition for these vets,” long-time ceramics professor and art show organizer Rich Sim said.
Sim served three years in the Army, including two years in Ethiopia, as a photographer. He has worked as a professor at AVC for 51 years.
“Art can be very therapeutic,” he said. “It can calm anxieties and help the veterans who may be having a harder time.”
With 35 veteran artists participating, one can expect to see a variety of art on display. From ceramics to paintings, print making acrylics to sculptures and water colors to pastels— the art show hopes to have it all in one place.
At the reception, the school president will also provide refreshments.
“It will be a time for the community to come together and for the veterans to put up something they can be proud of,” Sim said.
One veteran artist, George Jung, is excited to have his ceramic art displayed in the show.
“When Rich told me about it, it sounded like something worthwhile to do,” he said. “I really like jars. It’s very relaxing for me and a way to unwind.”
Jung served in the military for two years and was stationed in England. He now works for Northrop Grumman in environmental safety and health, even though he has a degree in art.
He also brought some abstract art to the show, saying that although many people like the functionality of traditional vases, it’s more fun to create a masterpiece from scratch that defies ordinary shapes.
Another artist, Nay Schuder, brought several different pieces to add to the show. Schuder is 30 percent disabled and served in the Air Force for 10 years.
He took his first ceramics class with Sim, in 2012, and fell in love with it.
“There’s some sort of serenity about clay that is very relaxing and soothing,” Schuder said.
He remembers getting into art at an early age, as artistic talent ran in his family’s blood. In one of his pieces that will be on display at the show, he started a painting with his wife, using watercolors to depict the ocean floor.
“It blew my mind to go from 2D art, to 3D art,” he said.
Besides his paintings, his sculpture work shows great detail and innovation.
For Benjamin Trammell, art therapy saved his life. He served in the Air Force from 1999 to 2007, when he suffered a brain injury in Pakistan.
He became homeless for three years and decided to go back to college, where he was mentored by Sim and took one of his ceramics classes.
“It’s breathtaking when you produce something beautiful from clay,” Trammell said.
He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and went on to get his masters in business, hoping to build a stem cell research facility in the Valley. Without the immersive experience of art, he says he might not be the same man he is today.
“Therapy should be something you enjoy,” he said. “That’s why pottery worked so well for me.”
His art, along with many other veterans’ creations, will be available for viewing at the show.
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