Art exhibit features work of veterans, raises veteran suicide awareness

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — The 22 VA’s Veteran Art Exhibit is on display until the end of January at the downtown Peoria Public Library.

The exhibit brings awareness to veteran suicide and is named after a study found that an average of 22 veterans a day commit suicide.

“It takes their mind, it’s escapism, it’s being creative and having something after the fact that you can be proud of and it just takes you to a different place that’s more calm. That really helps the mental state and helps them heal a little bit,” said Tom Boylan, a Navy veteran.

All types of art mediums and methods are on display at the exhibit and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) walked through the exhibit Monday. Bustos helped with funding bills that support local veterans.

Many of the veterans who contributed to the exhibit say art is an outlet for many suffering from PTSD.

“They use it as therapy and it’s found to be very therapeutic. I know that in several groups I’ve encountered, including men and women, doing art is good therapy for them,” said Boylan.

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