Residents had the opportunity to look at art inspired by the traumatic experiences of veterans at the "Opening Our Minds and Hearts to Veteran Trauma - Informed Art" gallery event held at the Old Town Newhall Library Wednesday evening. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Veteran art on display at Newhall Library

Four-year Navy veteran Laneta McBridge never thought art would help her to process her emotions.

Once introduced to Homes 4 Families, a nonprofit dedicated to helping create affordable housing for veterans, and after participating in an art workshop at the My TIME Center, she changed her mind.

“I love that I can express myself,” she said. “It helps me trying to figure out the words that I’m trying to say, but can’t find up here (in my brain). This gives me the pathway to figure it out.”

Pamela Braly, left, shows Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, right, some of the artwork on display at the Old Town Newhall Library Wednesday evening. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Similar artwork is on display at the Old Town Newhall Library in the “Opening Our Minds and Hearts to Veteran Trauma-Informed Art” exhibit, which showcases art created by local military veterans and made from art workshops conducted by Homes 4 Families.

“When you walk through this room, you can’t help but understand and know the feelings that are on the canvas, and I sincerely hope it helps people to be able to express themselves,” Mayor Marsha McLean said.

The goal of the program is to provide veterans with support from their fellow veterans while creating a safe place for them to share their experiences and allowing them to express themselves, according to Pamela Braly, enrichment program development consultant at the My TIME Center.

Karen Schnurr takes in the artwork on display at an art gallery examining Veteran Trauma set up at the Old Town Newhall Library Wednesday evening. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“Our veterans’ art shows that they have opened their hearts to share a part of themselves and their journey through their military lives,” she said. “Through pictures, lyrics, colors and symbols, the veterans’ stories of bravery and loss talk to us.”

Hunt Braly, chairman of the board of directors at Homes 4 Families, agreed, adding that their goal is to give back to veterans and their families in more ways than just providing affordable housing.

“It’s not a (handout), it’s a hand up,” he said. “They have to do 500 hours of services to get in their homes, where families have to participate and do lots of other important things, part of which is the art.”

The art exhibit is on display until Feb. 2 at the Old Town Newhall Library, located at 24500 Main St. in Newhall. For more information, visit homes4families.org.

M. Alexander looks at some of the art on display at the “Opening Our Minds and Hearts to Veteran Trauma-Informed Art” gallery event at the Old Town Newhall Library Wednesday evening. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.
Residents had the opportunity to view art inspired by veteran trauma Wednesday night at the Old Town Newhall Library. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.
Tiffany Bear reacts to a painting on display at the “Opening Our Minds and Hearts to Veteran Trauma-Informed Art” gallery event Wednesday night at the Old Town Newhall Library. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

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