Community · Opportunities

2022 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

2022 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition

PURPOSE:
The Department of Veterans Affairs annual arts competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through creative arts therapies and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of our nation’s Veterans.

THE COMPETITION:
Across the country each year, Veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in a local creative arts competition co-presented by the VA and the American Legion Auxiliary. The competition includes categories in the visual arts that range from oil painting and leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are categories in writing as well as the performing arts of dance, drama and music. Local creative arts competition first place winning entries advance to a national
judging process and first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Selected gold-medal-winning Veterans are
invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by a different VA facility each year .

CRITERIA TO ENTER:

  1. Veteran artists need to be enrolled in VA Puget Sound healthcare system.  
  2. All entries must have been created within the previous year to current year of NVCAF event unless entering the Military Combat Experience category. (cannot enter something from 3 years ago). MCE entry can be an older piece of work and requires a written essay. 
  3. Consent Forms need to be filled out with the ok for photos, media, etc. 
  4. Veterans can enter up to 3 categories per division. There are 51 categories in ART Division for example, where artists can choose 3 out of 51.  Different divisions include Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Creative Writing.  
  5. Veterans must turn in paperwork and entry by the deadline of Friday, August 26th 2022.

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Submit 2 JPEG photos of your art entry through email with uploaded entry documents to Jeanne.hopkins@va.gov           OR
  2. Attend drive-thru photo and submission clinic at either Seattle or Tacoma VA locations on dates below:

American Lake VA GYM Building 61

Wednesday, August 3rd 1-3pm GYM 61

Monday, August 8th 10am-noon GYM 61

Monday, August 22nd 10am-noon GYM 61

Seattle VA NEW MH building 101

Tuesday August 9th 10am-noon 101

Thursday August 2th 10am-noon 101

For questions and more information, contact Jeanne Hopkins: Jeanne.hopkins@va.gov

Submission deadline Friday, August 26, 2022
Community

Beauty in glass

Pink Seaform Set, glass sculpture, made in 1984 by Dale Chihuly, photo by Terry Brennan
Pink Seaform Set, glass sculpture, made in 1984 by Dale Chihuly, photo by Terry Brennan

A new museum is opening in Shoreview, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, that will display the private art collection of an art lover and philanthropist named Gerald Cafesjian. This includes the above piece by Dale Chihuly, who along with his wife Leslie Jackson Chihuly are supporters of Path with Art. Her personal story has been a great inspiration to me. I encourage people to watch the conversation she had with Holly Jacobson.

Community · Opportunities

Shakespeare in the Park: Cymbeline

Cymbeline wood grain back ground with a black rabbit & yellow ochre beams surrounding it. A turquoise badge with Coming up Next in  yellow writing
Cymbeline presented by ShoreArts

A modern, queer-forward view of Shakespeare’s folktale of forbidden love, mistaken identities, banishment, and reconciliation.

Intrigue. Deception. Compassion. Follow Imogen on a magical journey filled with unbelievable characters. With their lover banished and family torn apart, Imogen sets out on an adventure to reclaim their love and reconcile the family. Forbidden love, mistaken identities, banishment, and a magic potion— Shakespeare combines multiple styles in this endlessly inventive fairy tale.

Twisted Tales. Cymbeline is not your average Shakespeare comedy as the story quickly twists to the dark side. A wicked stepmother, a spoiled prince, and a wayward villain match wits and wile with clever Imogen, but even the best of folks hit low points. What happens after “happily-ever-after” can look a whole lot different than what you dreamed.

Love Quest. Director Makaela Milburn and artist Meme García have crafted a modern, queer-forward folktale of scrappy resolve, identity exploration, and big-hearted forgiveness. A wondrous small company of players brings this story to life with music and a joyful pastiche of styles to illuminate this rarely performed romance.

Seattle Shakespeare Company

Shorelake Arts presents Cymbeline, performed by Seattle Shakespeare Company as part of their Concert in the Park Series.

Wednesday
July 13 | 6.30pm
FREE
Richmond Beach Community Park
2201 NW 197th St, Shoreline, WA 98177

What is summer without Shakespeare? Pack up a picnic dinner, a picnic blanket, and/or low-back chairs to enjoy a comedy with a dark side. Bus Route 348 will get you there from the Northgate Light rail station.

Writing

Father’s Day? It’s complicated.

Reading this brought up some memories and feelings, more than a few that I work hard to keep burying. (This is your trigger warning.)

“The third Sunday in June is a challenging one for those of us with fathers who were destructive forces in our lives. A missing father leaves a void—a toxic one with life-altering damage.”

Years ago, my father and I had a fight — nothing physical — while doing some yard work at my brother’s new old house. Dad has a strange obsession with work. Workaholic does not describe it accurately. I describe it as puritanical. But even that word does not seem to fully envelop it.

Anyway, I walked off after telling him that I never wanted to see him again. This became even more uncomfortable because I was staying at my parents’ house. I made some desperate pleas to friends looking for another place until leaving for Seattle but I could not find any options and I didn’t have the money for a hotel.

Since then my grandmother has died, which left us an opening for reconnecting. She was suffering from heart failure and Dad had called to let me know that she did not have long. Unfortunately, she didn’t. Thankfully, however, I spoke with her a few times before she passed.

The last time we were together, I was spending the night because she did not want to be alone. Her new husband, who my father hated, was in the hospital. Casablanca with Bogart and Bergman was on TV so we sat chatting and watching. I love that movie. I have so many fond memories of her.

I am glad she lived so long. Living in Seattle and with some serious health problems myself, I did not have the chance to visit her and other relatives in Oregon much, as I did when I was younger.

I did get a few chances to talk with her about Dad. Why was he so violent? Did Grandpa ever hit him? Only once, she said. I have been trying to unravel this for years.

Then my younger brother relayed a story to me. He was in a car driven by our uncle and he shared how our Dad would beat on him when they were growing up. Our uncle described him as the neighborhood bully. And then it all made sense. My father was a bully. He had never grown out of it. He had never grown up.

Now, I had been bullied in school year after year. I was considered a nerd and unpopular. I had friends and a happy-go-lucky attitude so it wasn’t hell per se. I would do my best to laugh off anything negative. And it worked most of the time.

An even bigger problem, however, was my father. He was violent. He was abusive, emotionally and verbally. He stands tall. He is a huge, intimidating man. He remains intimidating to me to this day.

Learning that my father was one of these bullies was a revelation. I pictured Dad as one of the bullies I had experienced in school. He was one of the bullies who targeted people like me. He IS one of the bullies who targets people like me. It is his nature. That is who he is — his natural state, like a wild bear. Of course, this does not excuse his behavior. He needs to act like a man, like a father, not a vicious animal.

After repeated episodes of hitting her and his own damn kids, Mom gave him an ultimatum. We kids did not know that she had. Stop the violence, or she was leaving him. I wish she had. But her threat did the trick. He reformed himself. The transformation was remarkable. He became a better, different husband and father. He stopped being violent with us. His attitude was mostly better, but he would sometimes revert to his old nature. The farther from that ultimatum, the worse he gets, I think.

Unfortunately, he also relapsed into the physical violence a few times, conveniently when Mom wasn’t around. The last time he hit me was August 25, 1993. I made a mental note of that date. I still do not trust him. And the sound of his voice grates on me. I do not like the way he treats Mom. He is so damn condescending sometimes. He can be an arrogant son of a bitch.

I sent Mom flowers and good wishes on Mother’s Day. But I remain confused on what to do about my bully Dad. I cannot stand him. But should I at least send him a card or something? Life is so messy and so damn confusing.