Two veterans with Gateway Family Services’ equine therapy program made a mosaic, far right, nad presented it to Gateway. The veterans made the announcement over Zoom and then Gateway staff picked up the actual artwork on Friday. At left is the horse that the artwork was based on.

DANVILLE — Animals have inspired artists for ages, and horses especially are majestic subjects.

Veterans who participate in recreation services at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System have been turning their feelings and experiences into artwork.

Two veterans who were in the short-term program at the VA created a mosaic, which was donated to Gateway Family Services’ equine therapy program.

The veterans made it for the annual art show at the Danville Art League, and presented it to Gateway via Zoom last week. Then, the actual presentation was made Friday through recreation therapist Suzi Robinson.

“It was incredible,” Michael Remole, chief executive officer at Gateway, said of the mosaic, describing it as beautiful.

The mosaic was based off a picture of Gateway’s horse Hoss. The veterans took the image off Gateway’s Facebook page and made the mosaic as a surprise.

It was accompanied by a poem, “Kintsugi: Picking Up the Shattered Pieces” by Nikita Gill. Part of the poem said there’s an entire art form dedicated to filling the cracks of broken things with lacquered gold. The art form proves that even the broken and damaged history of an object is beautiful and should be treasured.

The veterans who made the mosaic were among those who participated this year in Gateway’s trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy to improve relationships and address trauma-related symptoms.

Besides the mosaic, other veterans have made special artwork to be displayed at Gateway in Potomac.

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