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Aiming to Heal: Art of Valor Photography

The Morean has partnered with James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital to offer glassblowing to military patients and veterans as part of a community-based arts program. The inception of Operation: Art of Valor began at the Morean Glass Studio on March 18, 2018, with a mission to serve the military and veteran population through structured, hands-on learning that focuses on improving cognition, social interaction, physical dexterity, teamwork and confidence.

Since then, the program has expanded to include the mediums of photography and ceramics. Under the instruction of Beth Reynolds and Lance Rothstein, veterans learn how to see through the lens of a camera. Their subjects are as varied as the individuals themselves; from objects, places or people that bring them joy, to things that cause them to reflect on their personal journeys. All in all, these veterans are using the healing power of art to find a way forward.

About the project, instructor Lance Rothstein states: “It has been my honor to work remotely with these esteemed active-duty members of our US Armed Forces. They have put a lot of thought into making these introspective images in response to several challenging themes, including: Finding Light and Shadow, Seeking Reflections, Perceiving Color, Out of Place, Zen & Balance, Abstraction, and Self Portrait without Self.

“It’s been very rewarding to learn how our photography sessions have aided in their recovery, inspired them to see things differently, increased their technical knowledge, and expanded their abilities of perception.” 

Having a place where veterans can connect through experience and collaborate artistically has proven to be beneficial to program participants, and the Morean is proud to be a part of an initiative that serves military patients, veterans and the community.

This project is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Zilber Family Foundation.