The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will pay tribute to military personnel and their families in two events this fall.

The school’s next art show will feature art that documents historical military events and personal experiences as well as facilitates healing, reintegration, and well-being for service members, veterans, and their families. Meanwhile, the school’s fall Mini Medical School series will also address contemporary topics related to military and medicine.

The art exhibit runs now through Dec. 8. An opening reception will be held Oct. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the medical school located at 2 Riverside Drive in Roanoke. The public is invited to attend.

The Mini Medical School will take place at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on Nov. 9 and 16 at 6 p.m. both nights.

The art show, titled, “Asclepius: Military, Medicine, and Creative Forces” will feature artworks from two collections. The ART-ifacts Exhibition Collection, a project of The Arts & The Military, provides educational programs, art-making workshops, and exhibitions for a wide range of cultural, educational, medical, and military institutions. The Traveling Vietnam Art Exhibition, on loan from The Vietnam Commemorative Partners, is comprised of the County of Roanoke, City of Roanoke, City of Salem, Stonewall Jackson Chapter Association of the United States Army, and the Town of Vinton.

men fighting
Ken Smith's "Green Hell" is a prelude to the Battle of Suicide Creek during WWII.

Twenty five regional artists have also contributed to the exhibition, with many works created in response to their personal experiences as a service member, veteran, or caregiver. Artwork created in a variety of media present moving portrayals that are military-inspired, patriotic in nature, or pay tribute to veterans or service members. Some current and former service members are displaying their work as a means of healing or therapeutic expression.

“Research shows art and art therapy can be beneficial to individuals with emotional, cognitive, or physical disabilities,” said David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the school and psychiatrist with Carilion Clinic. “This art show gives service personnel, veterans, and their families who have used art to express their emotions and cope with their feelings a venue to showcase some of their work. In addition, it’s beneficial to our students, who will someday be providing medical care to veterans. By viewing the works of art, these future physicians can better understand the unique health needs of veterans and how art may have a positive impact.”

This fall’s Mini Medical School series will allow attendees to learn about creative programs and innovative approaches to medical care for veterans and service members as well as how the work of local physicians is shaped by medical care and military service.

On Nov. 9, Tara Leigh Tappert will present “In Service to the Nation: Arts and Crafts and the Military.” Tappert will be joined by former Navy SEAL Rusty Noesner, whose experience as a participant of art therapy programs led him to establish War Paints, which seeks to empower veterans to create.

man in rocker
Artist Mary Louise Bland Hill titles this work, "Top Kick," and says it honors her brother and his career in the U.S. Army.

On Nov. 16, a series of short presentations by local physicians and medical researchers will address the current state of medical care for veterans as well as innovative programs and resources available here in the greater Roanoke Valley.

“This fall’s Mini Medical School series will build on the educational capacity of the art exhibit by providing additional opportunities for discussion of creative approaches to medical care and wellbeing as well as programs and services available right here in the Roanoke Valley,” said Carrie Knopf, the school’s community outreach manager.

The art exhibition and Mini Medical School Series are sponsored by the school’s Creativity in Health Education Program. Founded by Trinkle, the program strives to expand the social, cultural, and humanistic awareness of the school’s students and aims to involve community members in the life of the school.

For more information about the art show or the Mini Medical School, contact Carrie Knopf.

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