Over the last two years I have met or reconnected with fifty people and what an amazing experience it has been! I think getting to know them and trying to understand them has been a crucial part of this project and I have loved trying to translate that through paintbrush and color on canvas. I feel like I have made many new friends and in the process have found a deeper understanding of the trials and suffering of those of them who have mental illness. I have also come to realize through the experiences of these wonderful people how mental illness also affects friends, family and caregivers of the mentally ill. One in five of us have to deal with this daily struggle and I hope we can all be more aware and empathetic so that no one need hide their illness or feel ashamed.
I have finally finished the video for my show! Being a little technologically challenged it has taken me way longer than it should have...but that's ok. I did a short version and a longer version so we will see which one the curator will want to show. There is to be a tv and some comfy chairs in the gallery where people can sit and watch. The video has quotes from the people who modeled for the portraits in Fifty Faces: Defacing Stigma. They are touching and revelatory as people with mental illness share their experiences, hopes and thoughts. Also included are quotes from caregivers, family members and other concerned citizens regarding mental illness. The photography in the video was shot by yours truly and I hope it will enhance the viewer experience.
Its been 3 months since we moved to sunny California and left the beautiful mountains of Utah behind us. I'm loving the palm trees outside our back door!
Moving is so horrendous! But I am feeling pretty well settled into my new studio now. It has been a bit of a challenge since my studio space is quite a bit smaller than my previous one. But I took notes from my son's experience of living in a tiny studio apartment in San Francisco. He and his little family's space saving techniques were inspiring! I have figured out where to put everything except painting storage... Hence the upcoming studio sale. Sorry, no dates yet for the sale because I have a major solo show coming up in a month and have to have 50 paintings plus an installation and video to the Sears Museum Gallery at Dixie State University by September 7th. I am so excited to have this opportunity to show and also to try to raise awareness for mental illness. So just a few more things to accomplish and then my 2 year project will be complete. Happy day!!