An Innovative Ceramics Program Giving Veterans an Outlet for Creativity
The program offers artistic exploration and community involvement for military veterans, active duty personnel, and their spouses.
Privately funded, the Veterans Art Project is being implemented through the support of Saddleback College.
This class is tuition-free thanks to a generous grant intended to support our vets.
Ceramics faculty member Steve Dilley believes, “If this class helps just one veteran, this program will have been successful.”
Veterans Art Project
Program HighlightsHelps participants overcome the challenges of readjustment to post-combat life.
- Offers attendees experience working in a supportive, collaborative, and exploration-based environment.
- Aids emotional, physical and psychological well-being.
“When we’re talking about ceramics, we touch on chemistry, geology, anthropology, and a lot of other areas of study. This may be a way for these students to find their calling and career path …”
— Steve Dilley, Saddleback College Faculty
Inspired by research into alternative treatments for veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Steve Dilley started a ceramics program for veterans as a free activity for growth and personal enrichment.
The program is free to veterans and their spouses through Saddleback College Community Education.
Dilley is working closely with the college’s VETS Center, specifically with the Applied Psychology 140 class for veterans, to tout the benefits of having an intellectually engaging course like ceramics.
Dilley tells students to come as they are. “Everyone can do ceramics. It is fun, relaxing, and enjoyable – a great social activity.”
Ceramics can help improve fine motor skills and concentration. In addition, problem solving and creativity are natural outgrowths of working with earth materials.
Dilley sees the program as a bridge to academic success, especially for those who are not yet ready to take traditional classes. Students enrolled in regular academic courses can also benefit from ceramics classes. As an activity, ceramics leads to a deeper understanding of the materials, processes, and opportunities a college education offers.