Veteran Art Exhibition Exulted Students


When entering the Painting Away The Trauma art exposition, the most visible aspect was a large mural of artwork submissions. On April 26, Washington AmeriCorps Vetcorps collaborated with SCC to host a panel on the therapeutic uses of art. The exposition was hosted in the main dining room in the PUB building with keynote speaker, Micheal Reagan. The event included some of Reagan’s existing artwork.

SCC president Jack Khan spoke before the panel, mentioning that veterans can receive college credits for their military service at SCC. This event was filled with staff, members of the public and veterans. Although the student population at the event was initially small, more interested students started to show up as the day went on.

Reagan is a local painter and Vietnam veteran from Edmonds. He began drawing portraits in 2003 shortly after the Iraq war. The portraits displayed here are unlike typical portraits; they are portraits of deceased soldiers who died putting their lives on the line. Reagan wanted to make sure that none of these soldiers were forgotten and made an effort to humanize these soldiers in every way possible in his artwork. He draws all those who died during the Iraq war free of charge. Reagan also takes donations for his work.

This gallery consisted of art submissions by veterans who have used painting as art therapy while re-entering civilian life. “Submissions have nearly doubled since last year,” said Morgan Davis, the Vetcorps Navigator at SCC.

“It was a lot more than expected. I especially liked the prints because I’m taking a class in printwork.” said Micah, a student veteran of the Coast Guard.

In addition to the art gallery, food was also served throughout the event free of charge. Following Reagan’s presentation, the art gallery opened for students to view.

Another student Rachel Prijatna said, “I feel like it was really creative. I loved the mural, it was very interesting to learn about.”

Army recruiters were also present at the entrances handing out American flags to students and talking to students about their interest in certain branches of the military. While this was not the highlight of the event, some students were interested in the military as a career path, while others were not too certain about putting their lives on the line. Davis also said that many other services are available to veterans on campus including reduced tuition for military veterans and raffles.