November 8, 2021

Dear Friends:
The Interfaith Peace Project would like to introduce Kathleen Ellertson, one of our Advisory Board Members. Kathleen has developed a non-profit online gallery, The Veteran Art Institute, where Veterans can share their stories and their art. Below is her story and an excerpt from the website.
The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Women’s Day, March 8, by sending out a reflection on the eighth of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information concerning the voice of women that you would like to share to:

Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P


I am the daughter of an Army Air Force, WWII bronze star recipient, who was also an artist. Due to his horrific D Day experiences, my father suffered from unspoken PTSD resulting in alcoholism. He did not talk about his war experience. But we knew something was wrong. I escaped – got a degree in Art History, studied in Italy, got married, had two kids and got divorced. 

In 2009 my dad died and my internal battles resurged. This time I faced them head on. I knew I wanted to do something to honor my dad’s service but also help Veterans with PTSD. It hit me that we do NOT offer many Veterans the care they deserve. I knew about the healing properties of art. Still working full time, I volunteered for several Veteran artists groups to share their art journeys in art shows. This inspired to create my own non-profit online gallery where Veterans can share their stories and their art. Giving back to the Veteran community in this way has proven to be more fulfilling than I ever hoped and now it’s my life work. With my fine arts knowledge, and the help of veterans and friends thereof, I created the Veteran Art Institute ( I am honored to share their work with the Interfaith Peace Project. 


Branch of Service: Navy
Residence: Costa Mesa CA

Creating visual images that spark self-reflection and motivate thehealing process is my passion. As a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, I findguiding therapeutic art groups for the veteran community enriching. Ilove experimenting with colors, textures, and techniques and usingvarious surfaces, including canvas, wood, metals—even footwear!

Many of my creations have been featured in interior art placements, restoration projects, and mural commissions. Inspired by outdoor vistas, much of my artwork features unusual landscapes where I highlight nature’s graceful beauty. You can see my celebration of spirit in several works.

The Price of Freedom is my visual tribute to the courageous men andwomen of our military.

Every day I find joy, hope, and acceptance in my craft. My wish for youis that through my artwork, you experience the same. 

Her work can be seen in the Featured 2021 Artists Exhibit. (

Phyllis Miller:
The Price of Freedom
Phyllis Miller:
The Water of Life

As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at:
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279