by REBECCA KIELBASA
The Diane Kid Gallery featured a Veterans Day show that chronicled 145 drawings, depicting a veteran’s story drawn during 50 weeks of art therapy.
“One Soldier’s PTSD Story”, by G.A. Hunt, a former U.S. Army Major, are black ink drawings, except for a couple pieces that are in watercolor.
Hunt served from 2003 through 2017, deploying three times. In 2017, she returned to the United States and received 50 weeks of treatment in Fort Belvoir, Virginia for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Hunt was medically retired in 2019 for PTSD and has since been partnered with a service dog through K9’s for Warriors.
During Hunt's 50 weeks of treatment, art therapy was used to try and work through her memories and traumas. The art dates range from September 2017 until September 2019, and are not in chronological order of Hunt’s story, but what memories she worked through and when, according to Joseph Van Kerkhove, gallery director and Tiffin University professor.
Hunt is unable to leave her home due to her PTSD and did not offer comments on the work.
One attendee at the gallery opening, Melissa Trzpis, who has studied the art for some time, believes that the color represents Hunt’s most vivid memories, even though they do not seem to be good memories.
Another attendee believes that the color does not hold meaning, but in fact was a day in therapy that Hunt did not feel like drawing but had to still do therapy so the water color was an easier medium.
Louis Belluomini was the guest speaker of the night, who is another veteran suffering from PTSD that was partnered with a service dog from K9’s for Warriors. Belluomini shared his PTSD story, from the incident of his traumatic brain injury to failed treatment plans, and finally to being partnered with Star, his service dog.
Belluomini had never seen the work by Hunt before this gallery opening. After careful examination, he said that the color paintings represent a good or calm memory while serving, even if on the face it does not appear that way, and the black and white photos were “manic episodes” for Hunt.
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