Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Power of Art to Heal PTSD: 39 Artists Gather to Help Support Veteran Health

From our friends at Boulder Crest Retreat...

All Proceeds from Annual Art in the Foothills Show to Be Donated to Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness

Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is the nation’s first privately-funded wellness center dedicated exclusively to combat veterans and their families. The Retreat leverages its one-of-a-kind platform to offer this remarkable community of heroes a range of therapeutic and recreational activities that have been proven to reduce stress and calm the mind. These modalities are integrated in Boulder Crest’s groundbreaking PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Therapies for Healing Heroes) programs, which are short-duration, high-impact retreats designed to enable combat veterans and their families to make peace with their past so they can live the great lives they deserve - full of passion, purpose and service - here at home.

One modality that has received a considerable amount of attention lately and is widespread in all of Boulder Crest Retreat’s PATHH programs is art therapy. Art-based activities (such as mandala drawing, painting, weaving and bead making) allow participants to overcome the limitations of language and express themselves creatively. Through the creation of visual displays, long-hidden emotions and experiences can be surfaced and participants often realize that they possess reservoirs of uncultivated artistic talent.

As one recent PATHH participant, Staff Sergeant Michael King noted, "The art exercises helped me realize that I had a lot of unfinished business inside of me. I've been able to open up and allow myself to get the help and support I so needed all these years. I came to realize that I wanted peace in my life and a sense of home. I now have a sense of stillness."

While art therapy has proven an effective tool amongst veterans and family members battling combat-related stress, it also has a positive impact on all members of our communities. To demonstrate that, Boulder Crest Retreat is proud to be the host of Art in the Foothills, an annual art show and sale that is taking place from October 24-25, 2015 at the Retreat.

“Art plays a critical role in many of our programs at the Retreat, and we are thrilled to be able to use the Retreat as a showcase for so many talented artists, including one of our PATHH program participants,” said Ken Falke, chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat. “We are honored to once again host Art in the Foothills and grateful for the generous support we have received by community members from across Virginia and the country.”

The 11th annual juried art show and sale, Art in the Foothills, will showcase the talents of thirty-nine regional artists and is free to the public. Pieces will include the following and more:
• Painting
• Drawing
• Sculpture
• Pottery
• Woodworks

The event is open to the public and free, sponsored by Boulder Crest Retreat and all proceeds will go to Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness. The show will be held at:

A. James Clark Lodge
Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness
18370 Bluemont Village Lane,
Bluemont, Virginia

On October 24, 2015, open from 10 AM - 7 PM
The Artists’ Welcoming Reception, 5-7 PM
On October 25, 2015, open from 10 AM - 5 PM

“The event will not only allow local artist’s work to be appreciated and purchased, but also help military veterans and their families,” affirms Falke. “We invite everyone to attend and enjoy.”

Boulder Crest Retreat is a place solely dedicated for military combat veterans and their family members. Families go to the mountain retreat for a week for intense therapy that includes such things as yoga, equine therapy, art, music, meditation, recreational therapies, nature time, and more. All programs are free of charge for a 2-7 nights at the 37-acre retreat.

The Retreat welcomes combat-veterans who are active-duty, reserve and National Guard, veterans, family members and caregivers, and Gold Star Families. Boulder Crest Retreat is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that is funded entirely by private donations by individuals and organizations from around the country. For more information about the retreat, please go to

Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is a rural sanctuary that provides free accommodations, recreational and therapeutic activities and programs to help our nation’s military and veteran personnel and their families recover and reconnect during their long journey of healing from physical and invisible wounds of war. The 37-acre retreat is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia, just 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. The Retreat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is entirely funded through private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information about Boulder Crest Retreat, please visit