UPDATE 04/28/2023: Registration for this specific project is now closed, but we would still love for you to join in on our weekly Visual Art Workshops in May (and beyond!) While registrants are going to be working on their piece of the collaborative artwork, everyone is free to join in and make art of their own amongst the community. All are welcome. Bring supplies and media of your choice, hang out and create! Register here for our weekly workshop: CBAW Recurring Workshops

ORIGINAL POST: Are you looking for community as you approach Memorial Day? Join other Veterans and Community Members to create a Collaborative Painting in the month of May. Final digital image will be displayed at CBAW’s Virtual Memorial Day Event.

Last year, leading up to Memorial Day we worked together to create a collaborative painting in honor of those who served and sacrificed. This year, join us as we unite in community around making a brand new piece of art work.

Here is how you can join the project: 

  1. Register to be assigned to paint a portion of the painting. Click here to register.
    2. Receive your template and full instructions via email.
    3. Work virtually over zoom with our Visual Arts instructors during the first three Wednesdays in May (May 3rd, 10th, 17th.) These three workshops will be dedicated to completing the collaborative painting. Our Veteran Artist facilitators Joe Merritt and Shaun Smith will provide extra instructions on completing your piece.
    4. Scan and send your image to us by Thursday, May 18th.
    NOTE: This year, participants can choose any medium to create their piece. We only ask that you create it on 8″x8″ mixed media paper that can be scanned (no photographs) in the same color palette as the original image.

Registration ends on April 28th. Don’t wait!


Joe Merritt

Joe Merritt was medically retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2016 after 10 years of honorable service. Joe rediscovered art during his medical treatment and has a successful career as a professional artist, exhibiting his work and presenting gallery talks across the country. He is a steward of the veteran art community, leading art programming with active duty and veteran populations in DC, MD and VA.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a Retired U.S. Army Veteran and Fine Artist based in Northern Maine. Shaun served 10 years as a Combat Medic with a tour in Afghanistan. During that time he was awarded The Combat Medic Badge for providing care under fire and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained from a VBIED. Shaun found comfort in art therapy as a way to express his experiences, leading him to enroll into an art university. Shaun graduated from The Academy of Art University of San Francisco with a Bachelors in Fine art Painting in 2021. Shaun dedicates his time to painting landscapes, wildlife, and peaceful moments.

Community Building Art Works (CBAW)

Community Building Art Works (CBAW) is a charitable organization that builds healthy and connected communities where veterans and civilians share creative expression, mutual understanding, and support through workshops led by professional artists. Seema Reza is the chair of CBAW and facilitates a multi-hospital arts program that encourages use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care, and socialization for those struggling with emotional and physical injuries.

Click here to see our full calendar of events.

Further details about our workshops, including what to expect & registration instructions, can be found on our FAQ page.