EXHIBIT TITLE: "In-Between: Exploration of Mental Health Through Art"
SHOWING: February 26 - April 13, 2020
PRESENTED BY: Multicultural Heritage Centre, Stony Plain Alberta
*Special thank you to Alexis Marie Chute for curating this beautiful exhibit and for the images provided
Following Article by Peter J. Pretzer
Original story appeared in Stony Plain Reporter March 6, 2020
Multicultural Heritage Centre gets mental with its art
The organization will be offering the works for the public to view until April 13.
The Multicultural Heritage Centre features a lot of art and now wants the public to know they are not alone.
The organization in Stony Plain had its opening party for the In [Explorations of Mental Health through Art] Between show Thursday and will be offering the works for the public to view until April 13. Museum gallery curator Alexis Marie Chute selected six artists from Edmonton and the surrounding area from more than 10 submissions and said that the work they have offered has deep connections to the medium of art itself.
“There is a history of artists being more eccentric,” she said. “We are a lovely group of people that often experience the world more intensely. Many of them have had struggles with their mental wellbeing.”
Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works while institutionalized, Beethoven is believed by some to have suffered from bipolar disorder and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has said he needed his demons to create. Chute added that she hopes people who come to this show see that artists who create with paint, paper and fabric need not be troubled to an alarming point and that it is OK to be honest about your issues.
“This is gentle and welcoming for this topic that is too often difficult,” Chute said. “You are not alone and one of the good ways to cope is art. I hope that people leave having a bit more empathy towards people in their life after having this bit of a peek into the experiences of others and maybe are inspired to make art.”
She used the medium to cope after her own struggles, too. “A big part of my journey was when my son passed away,” she said. “The first year after he died I did not make art. I was scared of being in that vulnerable place but realized that if I did not deal with this grief I was going to carry it in a really destructive way. I rediscovered who I was when I felt like I had lost myself.”
She concedes that it may be different for others, but still believes art can help all. “We all process our struggles differently,” Chute said. “But art can be something really special. People are not always equipped to help. So in situations like this where people talk it can be incredibly brave.”
The centre’s art gallery in the schoolhouse is in winter hours and is open from Tuesday through Saturday.