Acrylic on Canvas 9×12
“I grew up near Grand Avenue in St. Paul and have lived in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis for more than 20 years. I work in many different mediums, including acrylics, soft pastels, and mixed media, but my first love is watercolor painting, which I began to study at a young age. I became a member of Avivo ArtWorks in 2011 and do most of my work in their studio. The practice of art is my vocation and is a vital part of my recovery. It has helped me manage and express my emotions in a creative way.”
Since 2004, Avivo ArtWorks, formerly Spectrum ArtWorks, has been working to support professional artists living with mental illness. Located at the Lighthouse, a Community Support Program in Minneapolis, the program meets its mission through a community-focused and recovery-based approach. Its multi-faceted art studio and programming assists artists at reaching and maintaining their artist-related goals such as making new art, connecting with other artists, and accessing exhibition and grant opportunities.
In addition to this, each year the program organizes a new exhibition that aims to meet its mission to challenge stigma and raise mental health awareness. In 2015, the program partnered with the Minneapolis Institute of Art to bring “In Conversation,” a residency and exhibition that featured 17 artists from the program. Each participant created a new piece of art that was in conversation with an object or artwork in the museum’s collection. In 2017, Avivo ArtWorks facilitated “The Big Picture,” a group exhibition that presented artwork that explored wellness in recovery through art. “To Really See,” opening August 2017 at the Hennepin County Library – Central Minneapolis, is Avivo ArtWorks first every traveling group exhibition. The show explores the medication-taking experience and will feature artwork from artists who use Avivo ArtWorks services and artists from across the state of Minnesota.