‘Mindful’ Exhibition, Workshops Explore Mental Health

Offering an opportunity to encounter and understand mental health through the lens of contemporary craft, the first exhibition of The Gallery at Penn College’s 13th season opens Aug. 13 and runs through Oct. 11.

“Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art” studies the impact mental illness has on society, and the role the arts can play in encouraging positive self-expression and guiding effective mental health promotion and treatment.

A reception is set for Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery, located on the third floor of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library.

In conjunction with the reception, a special lecture will be offered at 5:30 p.m. in the library’s second floor reading loft. Presented by “Mindful” artist Meredith Grimsley, “Trauma: Legacy, Biology and the Path to Healing” will discuss family history, the endurance of the human spirit and the gift of healing.

“My Other Self Sanctuary,” by Michael Janis; kiln-formed glass, glass powder imagery, steel, 12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch.

The exhibit, reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

“Mindful” examines creative responses to mental disorders through the inclusion of works made by artists who have been diagnosed with or affected by mental illness. The show highlights a variety of techniques and forms that include innovative art expressions rooted in traditional craft materials, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between craft and painting, sculpture, conceptual and installation art.

Accompanying the exhibit, the Madigan Library will host a hands-on activity designed by artist Grace Kubilius. The activity, which runs the duration of the exhibit, allows visitors to experience the contemplative, healing power of art-making by submitting their reactions to an ever-expanding “Thought Cloud.”

”Junk Bones,” by Grace Kubilius; incorporating burlap and coffee filters, among other found objects; 72 inches by 30 inches by 36 inches

Educational programming, including a curriculum guide for schools, will also supplement the effort being put forth by the exhibit. Two one-day events will be held for veterans and high school students. As well, a variety of workshops will be held in September. The workshops are free and open to the public, but require pre-registration.

Examples of workshops scheduled are: “Mindfulness with Meditation” sessions; “Connecting Threads,” an exploration of slow stitching; and “Inspirational Hand Lettering,” a starter practice utilizing markers. More workshops will be added in the coming weeks.

To view and register for the workshops, visit the gallery’s workshop page.

The outreach efforts are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The “Mindful” exhibition was organized by the Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh.

Special exhibit hours for “Mindful” at The Gallery at Penn College are: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays and will be closed Sept. 1-2.

“Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art”In addition to serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, the gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art. Admission to the gallery is free. For more about hours and additional offerings, visit the gallery website.

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Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State