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Kansas City Artist Develops Endowment for Veterans Arts Campaign

28 yr old Kansas City Art Institute sculpture student and Iraqi veteran uses art to help military folks like him. At only 28 Joe Williams has had three main desires in his life: to be a marine, to make art, and to commit suicide. Although each of these desires seem so different, Joe found common ground in these desires and is using them as a way to help other veterans.

Joe entered Iraq as a soldier in 2006. He served as a plane captain in charge of jet rediness. After enlisting in a Officer Training program for Marines, Joe was looking forward to pursuing a career in the Military. During one of his endurance tests his ankle locked up. He had received a minor injury to his ankle two years earlier while carrying supplies during  Hurricane Katrina relief duty. Unfortunately, what he had thought was a minor injury became advanced bone and nerve damage that doctors could not fix.

Realizing his Military career had come to an end, he attempted suicide. When Joe survived the attempt he began using sculpture as a means to heal himself and realized there were other veterans with stories similar to his. Joe is now developing the Endowment for Veterans Art Campaign. The plans are to offer veterans free studio space and resources to help them pursue an art career.

Read more about Joe and the Endowment for Veterans Art Campaign:


Taking aim at sculpture: Marine vet finds solace, purpose in art
He wanted to make art. And he wanted to kill himself. Each, it seems, isn’t like the others. To Williams, a 28-year-old Iraq veteran and sculpture student at the Kansas City Art Institute, they relate in interesting ways. And by acknowledging that, he


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