Military veterans to showcase artwork at UTEP

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- Four UTEP art students, all with a military background, sharing their experiences through creativity.

According to the veterans, art is a form of therapy and expression that helps them coomunicate what they have been through.

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of experiences that most haven’t,” Brian Holt said. “I’ve seen a different part of life that most haven’t and that is what makes my work a little different than others.”

Brian Holt served his country for a decade. His sculpture, “Lone Wolf” represents being back in civilian life without his comrades.

“It has dog tags,” Holt said. “It represents the military members I was deployed with.”

Victor Casas joined the military after 9/11. He has now been out for many years and his art has evolved and helped him heal.

“I was very edgy when I was out of the military, but it has helped me calm down a lot,” Casas said. “At first my paintings were dark.”

Melinda Blackwelder was in the military for 17 years. She now uses painting as a way of therapy.

“Art is very important to me,” Blackwelder said. “It’s therapy to me, it’s therapy to my kids. I’m making myself better and I’m a better person for my kids and everyone else around me.”

Mike Bombach is passionate about clay. The former Marine uses pottery as a way to cope after hard times and difficulty adjusting to normal life.

“The wheel here demands my focus, so I found it is very therapeutic,” Bombach said.

The artist’s are holding an exhibition of their work, “From Chaos to Clarity,” at the Glass Gallery in the Fox Fine Arts Center October 21 – 25.

An opening reception will be held Oct.21 at 5 p.m.

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