Veterans Discover Therapeutic Benefits of Creating Glass Art

02 Feb

Michael GlancyAt Habatat Galleries, we strive to bring culture, joy, and catharsis to our viewers with our large collection of glass sculptures. Our glass artists, like the renowned Michael Glancy, reflect the beauty and complexity of nature back to visitors from across the world. But it is not only world-famous artisans or gallery visitors who can experience the transformative benefits of viewing or working with glass.

Glass museums, galleries, and makers across the nation have made it a point to partner with veterans and active duty personnel. The purpose: to teach the ancient art of glassblowing to these respected individuals. On the surface, making this art may seem dangerous, as the transformation of raw materials into glass occurs at around 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. But that heat has the power to heal.

One man who has a newfound, first-hand appreciation of glassblowing is Mark Von Osdel. A military veteran who spent 14 months in Iraq, Van Osdel sought out to learn the skill of glassblowing as a means of coping with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s something I always wanted to do,” Van Osdel said. “It’s obviously not a cure by any means, but it gives you a reason to get up and do something.”

The owner of Hot Glass decided to partner up with Van Osdel, and has subsequently started to offer hands-on clinics for veterans.

The idea of using glass artwork as a form of therapy is not a new one. In fact, an official Veterans Glassblowing Day was founded in 2013. Glass studios and schools nationwide open their doors to veterans and active duty service members across the country, allowing them to experience glassblowing free of charge. Learning about and participating in such a unique art form allows these individuals to develop a marketable skill and express their creativity in a welcoming community.

While not all of these veterans will turn into artistic pioneers like Albert Paley, Michael Glancy, or Vivian Wang, it’s undeniable that the benefits they receive from their involvement in this beloved art form can certainly soothe the soul.

For more information about Habatat Galleries or our artists, please get in touch with us today.