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ART 4 VETS

Speaking without uttering a word

August 11, 2017
By CAROL SONES SHETLER , The Luminary

HUGHESVILLE Attracting attention is this logo covered van in the Hughesville Area Public Library's parking lot. Many have heard of the 'Batmobile," which transports Batman and Robin to confront crime in Gotham City. There is also the Weiner mobile, Oscar Meyer's way of advertising its brand of hot dogs. Now on the scene in places near you, is the ARTmobile.

The driver is more than an occupant, he is instructor George Stefanski who says, "Anyone can draw, you just need to ignore the voice in your head that says you can't." The Lock Haven man also shared that the motto for the Artpost program teaches 'Self-Awareness through Creativity.'

Although we caught up with Stefanski during his weekly session, the instructor travels to several areas, and in addition to Lycoming, they include Sullivan, Northumberland and Clinton Counties.

Article Photos

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary                                           
Veterans and family members find therapeutic value in expressing themselves through drawing. Those doing pencil drawings at the Hughesville Area Public Library recently were (Left to Right): Gale Sieg, Renee and grandmother Sue Brion, instructor George Stefanski, therapist Jane Moser, James Bonshack, Lennie and Linda Shellhammer.

"Art is a form of verbalization for those who've experienced traumatic events. Though the term Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) is often used for military personnel, additional situations can include the elderly, prisoners, domestic abuse or any other trauma," Stefanski said.

In addition to art, alternate non-verbal communication skills can include music, movie making and journalizing. A graduate of the Woodstock School of Art, the traveling artist is also a member of the Art Students League of NY, NY.

June Moser of Turbotville is the therapist working with the group; it was she who located Stefanski and initiated the courses. Moser is with the US Department of Veterans Affairs Readjustment Counseling Services in the Williamsport office.

According to Moser, "Attendance is down during the summer. Other times we may have eleven or twelve individuals come."

When asked to share opinions on the program, responses by the budding artists included all the following: "We support each other and have a good time"; "For a couple hours a week we're away from the real world"; "It's a great opportunity to share with people with the same interests"; and, "The goal is to persevere in what you want to draw."

Some veterans and family travel an hour one way to attend saying, "It's worth it!" They praised their instructor. "We begin with the basics with shading, shapes and such. Some have graduated to using colored pencils," Gale Sieg of Hughesville said.

Veteran groups supporting the Artmobile are as follows: American Legion Post 36, Jersey Shore and its Legion Riders; Post 268, Muncy; Post 412, Renovo; Post 623, Beech Creek; Post 7863, Duboistown. Also aiding in funding are Veterans of Foreign War Posts including Post 3428 Muncy; Post 7863, Duboistown. Additional organizations are the Lock Haven Moose Lodge; Fraternal Order of Eagles, Lock Haven; the Clinton County 40 & 8 Voilture 903.

To inquire about joining other veterans, contact Moser's office, the Vet Center in Williamsport at 570-327-5281 or Fax 570-322-4542. To learn about the artist, log on to www.artpostawareness.org.

 
 

 

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