NEW YORK (April 20, 2017) – The public is invited to join Hope For The Warriors and Combat Paper NJ for opening night of the Warrior Art Exhibit Thursday, May 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at El Barrio Artspace PS109 located at 215 East 99th Street in Manhattan.

Hosted by El Barrio Artspace resident artist and Fire Department of New York firefighter Michael Paulino, the free event aims to bridge a connection between the community and the Warrior Artist. The exhibit will feature art by Hope For The Warriors and Combat Paper NJ-assisted veterans in different formats – painting, photography, sculpture and Combat Paper which transforms uniforms into handmade paper used to create storytelling pieces by veterans.

In addition to the exhibit, there will be a panel discussion focusing on how the Warrior Artists have utilized art to tell a story and/or find healing. The panel will be moderated by Hope For The Warriors Senior Director of Clinical Health and Wellness Tricia Winklosky and include veteran artists such as Staff Sgt. Adel Abudayeh.

At Hope For The Warriors, Winklosky provides small group art therapy sessions and workshops to veterans, military caregivers and children. Artwork from some of those sessions will also be on display.

“We believe there is more than one way to find resolution or healing from combat trauma,” said Winklosky. “Many combat veterans find art to be therapeutic, helping minimize or alleviate some of the feelings and thoughts associated with their traumatic experience. Hope For The Warriors is excited to bring this exhibit and conversation to the New York community so these Warrior Artists can share their stories and our guests can be part of the larger conversation.”

Abudayeh, one of the panelists and featured artists in the Warrior Art Exhibit, is a combat veteran Marine who served five tours of duty since 2002. His actions while deployed earned him a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts and three Navy Marine Corps Achievement medals. Injured by an IED in 2013, Abudayeh was introduced to art therapy during his rehabilitation. With much coaxing, he agreed to try.

“During the class, something took over me and I just started sculpting,” said the Marine. “After just one day of sculpting with freedom, I found the incredible power of the arts. Each day during those two hours, I was able to relax and let my feelings pour into what I was doing. Since that day, I started healing and more importantly, I started coping with memories that were causing me pain for years.”

No RSVP is required for opening night and light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will continue and be open to the public through May 9. For more information, visit http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/event/warrior-art-exhibit/ or contact Jennifer Friedel, jfriedel@hopeforthewarriors.org or (646) 668-6590.

For more information on Hope For The Warriors, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.

About Hope For The Warriors: 

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served more than 10,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community resources. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 165 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 22,000 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.

About Combat Paper NJ:

Transforming military uniforms into handmade paper since 2007. Affiliated paper mills in California, Nevada, New Jersey and New York. For more information, visit combatpaper.org, Facebook or Twitter.

About El Barrio Artspace PS 109:

El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 is a community-driven project which has transformed an abandoned public school building in East Harlem into an arts facility with 89 units of affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. For more information, visit artspace.org/our-places/el-barrio-s-artspace-ps109, Facebook or Twitter.

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