Pochade boxes made for the soldiers … and, evidently, some issues of one of the organizer’s favorite magazines.

A group in Montrose, Colorado, is mobilizing the art community to help medically discharged veterans find a creative outlet. The organization’s big strides may surprise you.

Welcome Home Montrose is an effort to make the entire town a welcoming environment for returning and returned soldiers. From June 11 through 17, the group held the “Mission: No Barriers” event, during which Montrose-area residents donated their frequent-flier miles to help fly veterans to Montrose for kayaking, rafting, equine activities, fly fishing, and painting. Pochade boxes built by the local Woodworkers Guild of Western Colorado, aided by a knowledgeable Vietnam veteran, were distributed. Participating veterans also received copies of PleinAir magazine, books from Kevin Macpherson, and art materials from Gamblin Oil Colors. “It is our hope that the plein air program will be a healing and creative outlet that will last our wounded warriors a lifetime,” says Toni Woodrum, a local artist involved with WHM.

WHM hopes that plein air artists volunteer to get involved in the program, help teach veterans how to paint, and help them explore the joys and benefits of plein air work. Visit this page to sign up for volunteer opportunities with WHM.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here