Veteran finds freedom, peace in art


Willie Weaver-Bey, a homeless veteran has been using art to help him find healing, freedom and peace. Weaver-Bey spent four decades in prison, and has since been living in his car.

The Army Veteran learned to paint and earned national recognition for a piece titled, “A Veteran, Not Homeless.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports

In 1993, about 20 years into his sentence, he was trying to do something positive with his time in prison. For a year, he had watched another prisoner paint and desperately wanted to learn.

“I always ask, ‘Hey, Bobby, teach me how to paint.’ He never had time,” Weaver-Bey said. One day, he gave Weaver-Bey a canvas, some paints and old brushes.

He worked hours creating his first painting “Passage,” an abstract work that shows a slave ship traveling through a fishing village. He showed it to the some of the other guys and, Weaver-Bey said, they laughed at him.

“The guys in jail can be really cruel,” he said.

For more on his story, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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