MY ART STORY by

Paul Williams

Salt Lake City
Utah

williams-wasatch.jpg

Man standing next to a framed painting of a mountain landscape

Paul Williams with his print Into the Wasatch Mountains. Photo courtesy of Paul WIlliams

I am a disabled retired Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) from the US Army. The effects of war support have left me unemployable and bereft of traditional religion. With depression and PTSD, my sense of self, purpose and direction in life have been shot through. Learned of a Salt Lake City organization called Art Access. They are a non-profit with the mission of bringing art-making experiences to the disabled community. From the Recreation Therapist at my local Veteran's Administration Medical Center. The VA arranged today for a couple of six-week classes relating to kinds of glass working and I loved it! Having studied art in college 30 something years ago, I remembered the joy of color in hand.

The VA funds were limited, I guess, so Art Access went looking for funds to continue to provide healing opportunities to us disabled vets. Meanwhile, NEA was thinking about art experience may help the national problem of the disabled veteran with large numbers of the PTSD and Traumatic Brain injured. They knew that federal funded experience was a very cost effective mo9de of effective therapy in the American duty to it's veterans. Learning this, Art Access applied for a was granted money for a program. I may be crazy, but nobodies fool. I signed up for every one I could. Making a long story short, I experienced stained glass, fused glass, and two forms of print making. Importantly, one of the prints of Mt. Olympus in Utah sold and this led to a painting commission. Now I am a "Professtical Arteest". Most of all, I have a new life in my art, confidence and self-purpose with thanks to Art Access. Last of all because of NEA, art has definitely worked a miracle in my life. Thank you America!

Paul Williams
Salt Lake City, UT