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Arts and Culture

Maine Veterans' Art Works Celebrated on Annual Appreciation Day

PORTLAND, Maine - On Friday a new state law takes effect designating Nov. 1 as Veterans in the Arts and Humanities Appreciation Day in Maine. 

There is a national movement to recognize the holiday as an annual event; Maine is believed to be the first state to do so.  The measure was introduced on behalf of Jay Emerson, of the Penobscot County town of Hudson. 

Emerson is the director of the online American Veterans Arts and Crafts Gallery and a Vietnam veteran. He was wounded during the Tet Offensive while serving in the U.S. Army infantry.  Emerson says there's therapeutic value for veterans who participate in the arts.

"A lot of these veterans will do paintings or photography or what have you, or write books simply to deal with their emotions f they have been in combat or been in a war situation," Emerson says, "and I think it's important that they're recognized for that, just not the war aspect of it."

In addition to running a website that allows veterans to sell their arts and crafts online,  the American Veterans Arts and Crafts Gallery organizes shows to display and sell veterans' art.