Local veterans honored in national art contest

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SALEM, Va. (WBDJ7) Art is being used to help heal the wounds of those that served our country.

Rob Chewning/WDBJ7

A handful of area veterans were honored for their submissions in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The ceremony happened Wednesday afternoon at the Veterans Administration in Salem.

Cynthia Flanagan received special honors for her piano entry. She was selected to be one of the two dozen who get to perform at the week-long national festival in Jackson Mississippi.

"It's very important for veterans to see that they have something to share, something to say, that they have talents and that they're not forgotten, and I think that's a good thing," Flanagan said.

This year more veterans participated in the program than in previous years. The national arts festival will take place in mid-October.

More information from the Salem VA can be found below:

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is a VA Program designed to demonstrate the impact of ‘Creative Arts in Therapy’ for Veterans. Veterans who are enrolled for treatment at the Salem VAMC are invited to participate in a local competition within five different Divisions: Art, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, and Music.

Salem VAMC has participated in this program for the past eight years with a number of medals won at the national level and several invitations given for participation in the week-long Festival. In comparison to the past several years, the 2016 local competition demonstrated an increase in participants. Twenty-two Veterans submitted a total of 39 entries in multiple categories. Thirty-five of these entries were submitted for judging at the National Level.

These entries competed along with more than 3,000 Veterans from other VHA facilitates, in hopes of placement and an invitation to the National Creative Arts Festival, which will be held October 10-17, 2016, in Jackson, Mississippi. The Local winning entries include (those in multiple divisions will only receive one certificate):

ART Division: (5) John Barbazon: Mosaic. Jerry Frech: Acrylic Painting and Military Combat Experience. Felta Virginia Hall: Oil Painting. Ralph Miller: Collage.

CREATIVE WRITING Division: (10) Richard Raymond: Poetry-Humorous, Poetry-Inspirational, and Poetry-Other. John Koelsch: Poetry-Patriotic, Personal Experience-Humorous, and Personal Experience-Patriotic. Bonnie Clark: Essay-Humorous and Essay-Inspirational. John Holm: Personal Experience-Other, and Short, Short Story.

Drama Division: (9) David Bowen: Group Dramatic Prose. Debbie Camicia: Special Recognition. Bonnie Clark: Solo Interpretive Performance-Drama. John Holm: Group Patriotic Prose and Senior Dramatic Group. Peter Holm: Group Patriotic Prose. John Koelsch: Group Dramatic Prose, Group Patriotic Prose, Senior Dramatic Group, Solo Dramatic Poetry, Solo Patriotic Poetry, and Senior Drama-Solo. Stephanie Somers: Solo Dramatic Prose.

Music Division: (11) Cynthia Flanagan: Instrumental Solo Classical. Bobby O’Keefe: Instrumental Solo-Country/Folk/Bluegrass, Instrumental Rock, and Instrumental World/Ethnic Solo. Joseph Principe: Vocal Solo Pop, Vocal Solo/Jazz/Rhythm & Blues, and Vocal Solo Rock. Jamie Parsons: Original Vocal, Original Instrumental, and Special Recognition Solo. Jerald Smith: Senior Vocal Solo.

Participation Certificates include: Art Division: Sarah Bonner. Ellen Yown.

Creative Writing Division: Arc Carter.

Music Division: David Amos. David Lynch.

National Creative Arts Winners: Seven Salem VAMC Veterans won a total of ten entries as follows:

CREATIVE WRITING TITLE

Silver Medal - Personal Experience – Humorous: John M. Koelsch AIRLINE INDIGESTION

Bronze Medal – Personal Experience – Patriotic: John M. Koelsch ART OF WAR

Bronze Medal – Poetry Patriotic: John M. Koelsch ON VISITING THE WALL

Bronze Medal – Personal Experience Other: John Holm 10 SHOTS OF MORPHINE

DRAMA TITLE

Bronze Medal - Special Recognition Category: Debbie Camicia DO YOU REMEMBER THE TASTE OF SNOWFLAKES

Bronze Medal - Group Dramatic Prose: Dave Bowen, John M. Koelsch A WALLTHAT IS

NOT THERE

Silver Medal - Solo Patriotic Poetry: John M. Koelsch ON VISITING THE

WALL

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal - Solo Interpretive Performance – Dramatic:

Bonnie Dawn Clark FRANCINE CHRISTOPHE – HUMAN

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal – Solo Dramatic Prose: Stephanie Somers HONORABLE DISCHARGE

MUSIC TITLE

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal - Instrumental Solo Classical (Piano): Cynthia Flanagan Etude in E Major,

Op 10, No. 3 - Frederic Chopin “Tristesse”)

SPECIAL NOTE: Ms. Cynthia Flanagan is one of approximately 20 winners who has been invited to perform her classical piano solo live, during the October 2016 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Stage Show in Jackson, Mississippi.The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is a VA Program designed to demonstrate the impact of ‘Creative Arts in Therapy’ for Veterans. Veterans who are enrolled for treatment at the Salem VAMC are invited to participate in a local competition within five different Divisions: Art, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, and Music.

Salem VAMC has participated in this program for the past eight years with a number of medals won at the national level and several invitations given for participation in the week-long Festival. In comparison to the past several years, the 2016 local competition demonstrated an increase in participants. Twenty-two Veterans submitted a total of 39 entries in multiple categories. Thirty-five of these entries were submitted for judging at the National Level.

These entries competed along with more than 3,000 Veterans from other VHA facilitates, in hopes of placement and an invitation to the National Creative Arts Festival, which will be held October 10-17, 2016, in Jackson, Mississippi. The Local winning entries include (those in multiple divisions will only receive one certificate):

ART Division: (5) John Barbazon: Mosaic. Jerry Frech: Acrylic Painting and Military Combat Experience. Felta Virginia Hall: Oil Painting. Ralph Miller: Collage.

CREATIVE WRITING Division: (10) Richard Raymond: Poetry-Humorous, Poetry-Inspirational, and Poetry-Other. John Koelsch: Poetry-Patriotic, Personal Experience-Humorous, and Personal Experience-Patriotic. Bonnie Clark: Essay-Humorous and Essay-Inspirational. John Holm: Personal Experience-Other, and Short, Short Story.

Drama Division: (9) David Bowen: Group Dramatic Prose. Debbie Camicia: Special Recognition. Bonnie Clark: Solo Interpretive Performance-Drama. John Holm: Group Patriotic Prose and Senior Dramatic Group. Peter Holm: Group Patriotic Prose. John Koelsch: Group Dramatic Prose, Group Patriotic Prose, Senior Dramatic Group, Solo Dramatic Poetry, Solo Patriotic Poetry, and Senior Drama-Solo. Stephanie Somers: Solo Dramatic Prose.

Music Division: (11) Cynthia Flanagan: Instrumental Solo Classical. Bobby O’Keefe: Instrumental Solo-Country/Folk/Bluegrass, Instrumental Rock, and Instrumental World/Ethnic Solo. Joseph Principe: Vocal Solo Pop, Vocal Solo/Jazz/Rhythm & Blues, and Vocal Solo Rock. Jamie Parsons: Original Vocal, Original Instrumental, and Special Recognition Solo. Jerald Smith: Senior Vocal Solo.

Participation Certificates include: Art Division: Sarah Bonner. Ellen Yown.

Creative Writing Division: Arc Carter.

Music Division: David Amos. David Lynch.

National Creative Arts Winners: Seven Salem VAMC Veterans won a total of ten entries as follows:

CREATIVE WRITING TITLE

Silver Medal - Personal Experience – Humorous: John M. Koelsch AIRLINE INDIGESTION

Bronze Medal – Personal Experience – Patriotic: John M. Koelsch ART OF WAR

Bronze Medal – Poetry Patriotic: John M. Koelsch ON VISITING THE WALL

Bronze Medal – Personal Experience Other: John Holm 10 SHOTS OF MORPHINE

DRAMA TITLE

Bronze Medal - Special Recognition Category: Debbie Camicia DO YOU REMEMBER THE TASTE OF SNOWFLAKES

Bronze Medal - Group Dramatic Prose: Dave Bowen, John M. Koelsch A WALLTHAT IS

NOT THERE

Silver Medal - Solo Patriotic Poetry: John M. Koelsch ON VISITING THE

WALL

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal - Solo Interpretive Performance – Dramatic:

Bonnie Dawn Clark FRANCINE CHRISTOPHE – HUMAN

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal – Solo Dramatic Prose: Stephanie Somers HONORABLE DISCHARGE

MUSIC TITLE

INVITATION TO THE 2016 FESTIVAL &

Gold Medal - Instrumental Solo Classical (Piano): Cynthia Flanagan Etude in E Major,

Op 10, No. 3 - Frederic Chopin “Tristesse”)

SPECIAL NOTE: Ms. Cynthia Flanagan is one of approximately 20 winners who has been invited to perform her classical piano solo live, during the October 2016 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Stage Show in Jackson, Mississippi.