Artworks by Will Sanderson of Petoskey and Tamara Wilson of Cheboygan were selected to represent six Northern Michigan counties of North Country Community Mental Health in the statewide traveling art show entitled, “Creative Minds Changing Minds,” sponsored by the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan (CMHAM).
Sanderson’s artwork is a lively watercolor entitled, “Under the Sea” and “was inspired by our family’s trip to Hawaii. Seeing all the aquatic life was amazing and inspiring!” said Sanderson. “Art is an escape for me. Doing art helps me create my own world, with no boundaries. I open my head and my heart and see what happens.”
Wilson’s artwork is a vibrant marker drawing entitled, “Owls Always Watching You” and was created with markers.
“Art makes me happy, because I can describe my emotions through my art or what I have been thinking about that day. My art does help my recovery emotionally because I can put it all on paper and my art projects can explain how I am feeling better than my words can. I also love art because I can show my talent as well,” explained Wilson.
The pieces have been delivered to the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan in Lansing, where they will be professionally matted and framed by a person with disabilities who has a framing business and will then join pieces from around the state to travel around Michigan for the next two years.
The goals of the traveling art show are to help de-stigmatize mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and addictive disorders by showcasing the multidimensionality of the artists and to highlight the recovery potential of art.
“We know that many great artists like Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and Jackson Pollock not only possessed exceptional creativity but also experienced mental illness. Their famous artworks have helped change attitudes while enriching people’s lives,” said Christine Gebhard, NCCMH CEO. “We are pleased to support this show of Michigan artists who have used art to help their recovery and build life skills. The overall effect is to end stigma and normalize help-seeking behaviors throughout Michigan.”
In Michigan, one in four adults will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their life, yet many of them cannot access the treatment they need.
North Country Community Mental Health provides services to residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Kalkaska and Otsego Counties experiencing a serious mental illness, severe emotional problem, or intellectual/developmental disability, including individuals with co-occurring substance use disorder. Persons wishing to know more about North Country Community Mental Health are encouraged to visit www.norcocmh.org or to access services call 877-470-7130.