Bonita Owen served in the U.S. Air Force from 1982 – 1984 and currently lives in Arnold, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Bonita started doing art during her childhood in Missouri, working with media including watercolors and pencil.
Bonita suffers from a service-related Stress Disorder and recently joined the group Visions for Vets, run by Retired Submariner and Master of Fine Arts mentor, Scott Beatty. Scott helped Bonita focus her talent and she is currently pursuing a Fine Arts degree of her own, with a goal of becoming an Art Therapist and helping military veterans.
Scott Beaty served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 – 2001, spending his last day in uniform at his retirement ceremony on 9/11. Scott currently lives in Arnold, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and received his Master of Fine Arts degree (Sculpture) under the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Scott found peace and happiness again through art while fighting alcohol & opioid addictions relating from his service-connected injuries.
With this rekindled spirit, Scott founded the nonprofit organization Visions for Vets and spends his days providing the healing powers of art to Veterans in the St. Louis area, successfully healing many and saving the lives of some. Connect with Scott at visionsforvets.com or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisionsforVets).
David Jackels served in the U.S. Navy and received a medical retirement after more than eighteen years of service. Although being able to express his feelings through pictures has always been David’s sanctuary and a way to break from the world and find inner peace, he had not studied Fine Art formally until fourteen years ago when he was accepted into the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
David furthered his education from an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Communication to a Master of Fine Arts and spends much of his time at the nonprofit organization Visions for Vets, helping his fellow Veterans discover the healing power of art.
Joshua Osburg served in the U.S. Army from 2003 – 2006 and currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Joshua started drawing and painting early in life for pleasure, and later in life for purpose. Art has become central to his life since leaving the military and it played a strong role in his road to recovery after discharge.
After receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree, Joshua found himself taking on the role of teacher, as well as that of a working artist. While attending school, he befriended veteran Submariner Scott Beatty, founder of the nonprofit art program Visions for Vets. Joshua was able to share with other veterans at Visions for Vets what he was learning and what he already knew, with regard to drawing and painting. Joshua plans to continue sharing his knowledge and working as an artist.
Lisa Conway served in the U.S. Navy from 1994-1997 and currently lives in Imperial, Missouri. Lisa started painting in 2017 at Visions for Vets, a non-profit art school run by retired Submariner and Master of Fine Arts mentor, Scott Beatty.
Lisa was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Disorder in 2014, and she uses art as a coping mechanism and a creative outlet.
Victoria Weidner served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976 – 1982 and currently lives in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. Her education has been in Art, Theater, and Fashion; she lives for her family and for her art.
Like many of her fellow Veterans, Victoria suffers from PTSD and other things, but her time at Visions for Vets and with the VA is helping her cope. Being around fellows veterans has been a way of opening up; she is doing something creative every day, whether it’s pencil, watercolors, clay, acrylic, or oil. In her words, “I need to create.”
J.L. ‘Woody’ Wooden
J.L. ‘Woody’ Wooden lives in Wapiti, Wyoming and is a retired Professor of photography from Northwest College. Woody has a B/A/ and M/S/ from Brooks Institute of Photography. He studied under W. Eugene Smith at the University of Arizona in Tucson up until Gene’s death in 1978. He has over twenty-five years in commercial photography.
His photography has been in over 100 museums and gallery exhibits through-out the United States, Canada, China, and Europe. Woody has over thirty-seven years photographing lightning and has had several articles published on the subject. He has received numerous national and international awards and recognition for his work.
Rocky Allen served in the U.S. Navy from 2007-2011, spending the last year in uniform as a Surgical Technician in the operating room (OR) at NATO Role 3 Trauma Center, Kandahar Air Field Hospital, Afghanistan.
It was during his tour in Kandahar that he experienced the effects of exposure to trauma while working long hours in the OR.
Rocky returned to the States with not only severe PTSD, but an opioid addiction which had a strangle-hold on his life.
It was through taking an art class in a facility, that Rocky found peace and healing, and realized he had a hidden artistic gift, one which was never tapped before in his life.
Over the past two years, he has inspired and encouraged others to experience the healing of art, by teaching art classes two days a week at the facility where he resides.
Rocky believes in the healing powers of art and hopes to continue teaching art and one day, exhibiting his work in VA Hospitals and other venues showcasing the work of veterans –suffering from PTSD.