Visions for Vets is a nonprofit organization that has recently relocated to Troy.
Founded in 2015, this free art program offers classes such as painting, drawing, sculpting, ceramics, metalsmithing and glassblowing to any veteran who may struggle with a physical or mental impairment or wants to explore new mediums and build new friendships.
President and founder, Scott Beaty, is a 20-year Navy veteran who began this journey as part of his own healing.
Beaty’s last day of service fell on 9/11/01. Willing but unable to reenlist, due to previous injuries, he was unexpectedly thrown back into the real world.
Forced to deal with a complete lifestyle change while also overcoming his injuries, Beaty fell on dark times.
“I decided I wanted to go back to college, so I went to Fontbonne University as an artist,” Beaty said.
Beaty found his place in the Fine Arts program, where he obtained his associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Upon graduating, he felt he wouldn’t find a place in the corporate world after spending the majority of his life underwater in the Navy.
Beaty began volunteering and forming a vision of his own for how he could provide the freedom so many people seek after retiring from duty.
After sharing his ideas with the president of Fontbonne University, Beaty provided a place for veterans to feel welcomed and connected again.
“From that day on, everything has been moving forward. It’s my job, my passion, my life in progress right now,” he added.
Visions for Vets has been working out of Fontbonne University, but when COVID-19 hit, school closures expedited plans of finding a place of its own.
Daniel Brown, vice president of Visions for Vets, knew the veterans who attended these classes just wanted to get together and create again.
“I mentioned to Scott that I had a 1,500 square-foot shop out in Lincoln County, and at the very least, we could do a camp out,” Brown said.
After making some adjustments to the shop, it is wheelchair accessible and within health regulations with space for social distancing.
“The positive response Visions for Vets has received from Lincoln County has been overwhelming,” Beaty added.
Soon, Visions for Vets will begin working with the community by engaging with the students of Lincoln County who have decided to homeschool this year to give them a creative outlet.
Visions for Vets is currently holding an open house for anyone interested every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 332 Ridge Rd in Troy.
“We’re very nonjudgmental as far as what level you’re at in your artistry. No matter what skill level, no matter what hesitation, if you’re even thinking about it, you should reach out,” Brown said.
For more information about classes or volunteering, contact Beaty at (314) 800-5902, or visit the Visions for Vets website at https://visionsforvets.com.