Last month, we had the unique opportunity to celebrate the recovery journeys of dozens of Wyandot BHN clients, staff and community members at the stART the conversation art exhibition. It’s not every day that we get a chance to see, hear and celebrate stories of recovery from our friends and neighbors. But that is what makes stART the conversation such a special event. It brings together Kansas Citians with varying levels of experience with art without any sort of “acceptance process.” The exhibition is about providing a platform for anyone who has a message to share about mental health. And the messages that were shared this year were powerful and started important conversations about mental health and recovery.
For some of this year’s artists, their artwork depicted the lowest point in their life. And it was proof that they had survived that low point and their art was a celebration of their recovery. For others, they used this opportunity to share those emotions and thoughts that can’t always be captured in words. And for each artist, they bravely shared their journey to help others feel less alone in theirs. Many of the artists shared that art has allowed them to find themselves and heal. At least one artist described it as “personal medicine.” Art has and continues to play an important part in the recovery journey of so many people.
The stART the conversation art exhibition was a true celebration of recovery – including the setbacks and the triumphs we all face along the way. Each person’s recovery journey is different and each of the artists featured in the exhibition were at a different place in their journey. But together, all of the artwork painted a larger picture of what recovery can and does look like for people in our community. I hope that for everyone who visited the exhibition, they walked away knowing that recovery is possible. And if you weren’t able to join us, I hope you’ll mark your calendars and join us next May.