Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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JRRD Cover Art Winner 2012,
Delbert "Ed" Tippie

Delbert Tippie

Delbert "Ed" Tippie served in the U.S. Army, achieving Staff Sergeant rank during his six years of service. The Salem, Virginia, native says he "tried to imagine myself lying in some grass along a parkway on a day in the fall of the year, before the last mowing along the roadbed" when he painted Break on the Parkway, his water color entry into the 2012 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. "The colors were simple and so was the subject matter," said the 70-year-old Tippie, who says that while he got started in art in high school and had some formal training as an artist, this is the first time any of his art has been honored. "Art can be relaxing and fulfilling at the same time," said Tippie. "Sometimes I feel like the brush is doing all the work, and I am lost in the subject matter. Why would anyone take a break on the parkway in the first place? My wife says that this piece tells a story, simply and to the point. It’s amazing how mood can affect my painting."

Mr. Tippie says that while he is not aware that he has any physical or emotional disabilities, he has found that his art, and the creative art therapy program at the Salem Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, has allowed him to find peace and recover from the deaths of so many of his comrades in arms. "I never painted while I was in Vietnam . . . . I had a job to do and I did it. But after all these years, I have found some comfort in creating again, and my wife has been a great critic. She reminds me that I can do it, but that I have to work at it."

This year marks the 10th year of JRRD sponsoring artists for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. "This exceptional event is a natural fit for JRRD," said Stacieann Yuhasz, PhD, editor. "As the only scientific journal produced by the VA, and since creative arts and creative expression have been shown to provide rehabilitative benefits to people suffering with emotional and physical disabilities, it makes perfect sense for us to partner and support the healing efforts of our Nation’s Veterans."

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