PAT-MED Library Veterans Workshop

Patchogue Medford Library presents art workshop for veterans: Visions of Conflict: The Art of War

Date: October 2, 2017


CONTACT: Jessica Oelcher 631-654-4700, x238,

Patchogue-Medford Library presents Visions of Conflict: The Art of War, a therapeutic art workshop for veterans and those profoundly affected by war

(Patchogue)– (October, 2017) – In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Patchogue-Medford Library joins with Diane Van Velsor of ThinkBIG Theater Arts in presenting Visions of Conflict: The Art of War October 13, 20, and 27.

This three week therapeutic art workshop for veterans, loved ones, activists and anyone else affected by war will culminate with an exhibit at the Library November 6-10.

Workshop attendees will choose a medium in which to work (sculpture, mixed media, or acrylic paint) and will be guided by instructor Ms. Van Velsor. Ms. Van Velsor is the Director of The Creative Arts Abilities programs at ThinkBIG Theater Arts located on South Ocean Ave. in Patchogue. She has over 20 years experience as a Certified Recreation Therapist bringing arts programs to individuals of all ages and abilities. Diane knows what some of our veterans families face as her father was in the Navy for thirty years serving during WW II, Korea and Viet Nam .

“This was an amazing opportunity to partner with a local organization and bring Ms. Van Velsor’s experience and energy to the community. Ms. Van Velsor knows what some of our veteran families face as her father was in the Navy for thirty years serving during WW II, Korea and Vietnam.,” said Jessica Oelcher, Patchogue-Medford Library. “We want to provide a form of creative expression to help express the emotions of veterans and others who are affected by war and may be struggling. And we’re happy to help provide a venue for events like this that are open to the community.”

The first in the series of workshops takes place at the library on October 13 at 6 pm. All materials will be provided free of charge.

Registration is currently taking place. Call the library 631-654-4700.


The Patchogue-Medford Library is a school district public library serving the residents of the Patchogue-Medford School District. The mission of the Patchogue-Medford Library is to provide resources and opportunities to empower, educate and entertain the community.

Published by daves-studio

I truely believe that "Even ordinary life can be immortilized through art". I have always been awed by the mystery of how people are connected and for most of my life as an artist I have looked for new ways to express what was inside of me, what I was feeling and how I wanted people to view and understand what I wanted to say. This caused me to restrict my art to forms that others could understand. I was speaking to the masses, but I was not using my own voice. Over time I realized that it was not so important weather people truly understood what I was saying but rather that I was speaking so I started to look for the way to think out loud and be heard and have found that voice in papercutting. My work is a mixture of Eastern and Western Art that I started after a visit to China in 2004. while there I discovered the ancient and demanding art of Chinese paper cutting and line drawing. On my return from China I began to make connections between the craft of paper cutting and my years as a soldier. The results of this unusual connection have been beautiful two and three dimentional metaphors of the importance of time and the fragility of life and democracy. Paper cutting itself can be found in many cultures and just like in China those cultures for the most part have thought of it as a decorative or folk art, few artists have explored the idea of using this form of art in a more substantive way. It is part of what has attracted me to papercutting in the first place. While the beauty of paper cutting was appealing, more appealing was the idea of using this fragile material to represent serious and even realistic ideas. The process that I use for my paper structures is the same as found in traditional Chinese paper cutting. What is different is the paper, the way it is displayed and the topics talked about in the art. It is these differences in the works that make them stand out from other forms of paper cutting and structures. Instead of using traditional types of paper for papercutting I have made the cuttings out of aluminum or mirror paper. The paper was chosen for its reflective properties, not just for making the art brighter but for the ability of the viewer to see reflections of themselves in the art, showing a connection between the viewers and the subjects in the work. While most paper cutting are laid flat on the board these works are placed between two pieces of glass in the front of the frame allowing the light to cast shadows on the background, making these papercutting sculptures of art. The other aspect of this work that is different from traditional paper cutting is that each piece is individually designed and not mass produced. This is an important aspect of my work as it is about keeping the appeal of POP art while reducing the images to singular forms. My hope for the future is to continue to explore ways to bridge the techniques and styles of paper cutting and western ideals of art. Not just as a way for me to produce my art but as a way to communicate western ideas in Asia and Asian ideas in the West. For art is the only true international language that all people no matter where they come from can appreciate, and it is through art that we can learn about other cultures beyond mere words.

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