The Wounded Artist Project (www.thewoundedartistproject.org) is a Michigan-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is sending art kits to war wounded, ill and injured recovering in military hospitals and medical facilities. We have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Hospital, Brooke Army Medical and VA Hospitals in Detroit and Tampa. Our kits are being used in Ft. Lewis, WA, Brooke, Tampa’s Haley VA Hospital, Walter Reed, and Bethesda. We are always looking for volunteers to go into the hospitals and Warrior Transition Units to work with Occupational Therapists and other staff to present our kits.
While art is recognized as great therapy for dealing with trauma, we are sending kits to help the wounded develop art skills that they may be able to use in picking a college degree or career path. We believe that someone will get through our kits and decide they liked perspective drawing so much they want to be an architect or an urban planner. We will also be developing course materials for product design or mechanical devices and, for those that were became very interested in the particulars of their wounding and were constantly peeking at their charts, life drawing or scientific illustration.
We want them to get something valuable out of our program and kits, not just being able to say, “I can draw dogs really good now!”
We have loaded several introductory art videos on our YouTube channel showing how to get started drawing: http://www.youtube.com/user/WoundedArtistProject#p/a/u/1/714zbkzEKu8. People are invited to send us their own art lesson videos to post. We recently posted a video interview with a Southfield, MI, architect describing Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for those interested in working with CAD software in the architectural and construction industries as a designer. In early April 2010 Autodesk Software announced that veterans are now eligible for their Assistance Program to download training packages of their BIM software (http://thewoundedartistproject.org/?page_id=55). Students at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield created a booklet describing Transportation Design and describe it in a video: http://www.ltu.edu/architecture_and_design/make_mark_competition_td.asp (please note that they were totally unscripted, they just appreciated our mission.)
We believe that sometime, someone is going to look over the shoulder of one of our artists and ask, “Wow, you really drew that?”
We would encourage individuals to check with their HR departments to see if they can organize a “$5 – Jeans Friday” fundraiser. We can send a flyer to edit for their own company.
Please contact Ray Bakerjian, Executive Director, at 248-474-5092 or ray[at]thewoundedartistproject.org