A Maine Veterans Art Show runs through the end of the month at the State Capitol Complex. This special annual Art In the Capitol exhibition is presented by the Maine Arts Commission, in partnership with the VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus, to recognize and encourage Maine service members to pursue their passion and promote their art or craft, no matter the skill level.

In 2016, Maine legislators designated Nov. 1 as Veterans in the Arts and Humanities Appreciation Day in Maine. Throughout the three-month exhibition, the majority of the works hang in the halls and committee rooms of the Burton M. Cross Building, 111 Sewall St. Each piece features the artist's name, accompanied with a quote that offers insight into his or her work and creative process.

“When engaged in the making process of my art, the inspiration will always come from my past, or my military experience, life on the island I was raised, or my travels or the people I love and the places I have been,” said Midcoast artist Debe Loughlin.” It is the ah ha moment and my brain engages my hand. The light comes on and the making of my art begins.”

The Veteran Artists program is supported by Togus, which provides a variety of outpatient and adaptive therapy programs for Maine’s veteran population including visual arts, poetry and performance.

"The goal is to promote lifelong health and well-being through regular participation in meaningful leisure pursuits, regardless of disability, said Courtney Oliver, one of Togus' recreational therapists. “The arts give our veterans a creative outlet that helps them to heal and grow."

The program asks that the public show its support for those who have served by purchasing and displaying their art. If interested, send email to Courtney.Oliver@va.gov. For more information on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, visit va.gov. For more information on the Maine Arts Commission, visit mainearts.com.