Letting Art Do the Talking

May 23, 2023

A brave group of artists from across Kansas City used their talents to get people talking during Mental Health Awareness Month.

The group of more than 60 adult and youth artists shared their artwork in hopes of bringing people together to start a conversation about mental health. For many of the artists involved in the stART the conversation art exhibition, this was the first time they had ever shown their art publicly. For others, it was the first time they had ever called themselves an artist. But each of the artists had one thing in common – they had a message they wanted to share about mental health.

“What a powerful evening the stART the conversation exhibition was,” says Christine Swenson, Senior Vice President for Clinical Services at Wyandot BHN. “The pieces submitted and the stories from the artists that were shared were beyond moving and were a great testament to the healing powers of art.”

The 100 works of art that were featured in the exhibition covered a wide range of mental health topics, including anxiety, psychosis, growth, grief, post-partum depression and recovery. The exhibition presented an opportunity for the artists to share a piece of their mental health journey without needing to find the right words to explain. For those who visited the exhibition, it was an opportunity to deepen their understanding of mental health and walk away feeling less alone in their experiences.

“The artists and the viewers both walked away empowered and feeling heard. The community arrived with open minds and hearts to engage in honest discussions of mental health,” says Jordan Graves, ArtMakers Clinical Coordinator. “There were a lot of tearful eyes, hugs, and important conversations that were had. I was so thankful to bear witness to all of the courageous honesty that was held in the room.”

To hear from some of this year’s featured artists, please click here. Visit the Wyandot BHN Facebook page to see photos from this year’s exhibition.

Thank you to the generous sponsors who made this event possible: ArtsKC, McEnery Automation, MVP Law, Vibrant Health, Community First Bank and Genoa Healthcare.