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The Art of Healing

The Art Of Healing begins August 1, 2013

“The Art of Healing,” a collaboration with Hidden Wounds, a non-profit aiming to provide peace of mind and comfort for military personnel suffering combat stress injuries and other postwar challenges, is designed to benefit those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries through artistic and creative healing. Jim Dukes, of Cary, N.C. and Tapp’s visiting artist-in-residence for July, August and September, will be the feature artist for the exhibit. While recovering from a traumatic brain injury and working through PTSD, Jim discovered relief in a creative outlet, photography. While an artist-in-residence he will work with and assist local organizations and individuals who utilize art therapy or art healing techniques and help solidify an ongoing art healing program for the Tapp’s Arts Center. Participants are invited to use photography, writing, drawing, painting or mixed media or other art forms aimed at healing. This exhibit is not limited to individuals using art healing to augment their PTSD and/or TBI rehabilitation but also cancer, depression and other life-changing conditions. Selected artwork from the exhibit will be included in a photo book, with the participants’ experiences, as told by area writers. This photo book will be released and sold, at an exhibit closing fundraiser, on August 30th at 7:00pm. Proceeds from admissions and artwork sales will benefit both Hidden Wounds and the Friends of the Tapp’s Arts Center, to advance healing through art. This is a FREE program for participants but space is limited. The first informational meeting will be Wednesday, July 10th at Tapp’s Arts Center at 6:00pm. “We see Tapp’s as a community center and we’re excited about the possibility to serve those individuals who seek and lead recovery through art and share examples of these proven technique with our community,” says Brenda Schwarz, executive director of Tapp’s Arts Center. Recognized Columbia artists, some who also provide healing through art, will share their work in the August “Art of Healing” exhibit at Tapp’s, including Heidi Darr-Hope, Whitney LeJeune, Sandra Carr, Mary How and Lyssa Harvey. The exhibit will open Thursday, August 1st as part of First Thursdays on Main. Those interested in healing through art and participating in the program should contact Steven Diaz at Hidden Wounds at (803)873-6540 or or Jim Dukes at 704.840.9008 or For information on submitting artwork and exhibit details, contact Brenda Schwarz at (803) 988-0013 or by email at To learn more about Tapp’s Arts Center and Friends of Tapp’s visit Tapp’s Arts Center online at or on Facebook.


  1. I have insomnia so I’m up all night. I try and think of ways that I can help other Vets. If you call your dotcor or VA every other day, write them e-mails and letters and keep copies of them and once you get fed up (six months is my limit). Write them a letter (intelligent) telling them how unprofessional you feel their service has been and let them know that you are going to file a formal complaint to the head of their department. Then you will get some answers. You don’t have to be rude about it. I think if they send out a letter telling Vets that you are still working their case, is better than not hearing anything from them at all,when you write them or call them you should tell them that. I like e-mails because I can keep a copy of what I wrote to them and the response from them and a date. Save them, they come in handy. Go to the patient advocacy in the VA, that is their job to help you when you feel you are not getting the help you know you deserve. I think they are back logged and they need more workers, but that is not our fault, if we pressure them, then they should pressure the powers that be to get more help, because as soon as one of us go off (hurt or curse) someone we will be labeled crazy. Talk to the Vets around you and try to make their day better, don’t sit around and complain with one another, use that energy to focus on a solution. I have a lot of bad painful days, but I talk myself into good days as much as I can and I pass it on to others when ever I can. I pass on any information that I learn new. Ask to see their supervisors, if you receive an email, save it and it they cc someone on the e-mail they send to you, ensure you add those cc people to the e-mails you send back to them, because I think those cc are people in the know. Don’t give up, that’s what they want you to do. If we tell or children and the children around us not to go into the military because of the way you are treated when you get out, they will have to go back to the draft because no one will want to go in. We deserve better and we have to stand up for it. Civilians in this country don’t have a clue of how hard we work while we are in the military and the things we have to do once we get out. I call and e-mail HLN all the time, I make sure I don’t sound like a lunatic or someone with a vendetta, they know me by my name and they publish my ideas and air my points of view a lot. The Army was a good job for me and helped me grow, but there has to be a better way to treat us once we are out and after we have given up so much to protect our country

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