Visitor weblog: Artwork, psychological well being, and giving collectively


“How tragic however resilient human life is,” stated my half-asleep grandma, talking over the cellphone from the chipped doorway of her condo complicated’s bottom-floor cafeteria.

I had simply despatched her considered one of my latest artworks – a self-portrait known as “Clouds Scatter Simply”. I had waited for her to misconceive, or to reward emptily, seeing simply the colours however not the emotions beneath. However she noticed proper by way of me.

My grandma, identified with main despair years prior, was the primary particular person in my household to unabashedly pursue remedy. After I virtually gave up by myself bipolar prognosis, it was her instance that satisfied me to offer therapeutic another probability. So I shouldn’t have been shocked {that a} conceptual {photograph} I created by layering my ache into puddles of dizzying neon can be so clearly understood, if by nobody else, then not less than by her.

In troublesome moments, artwork was a treasure chest I didn’t wish to – didn’t should – open alone. A drawer within the nook of the closet the place I stuffed all my messy emotions away; a gilded relic adorned with faux jewels I put up for others to admire. It shapeshifted to cover and present what I wished it to. It was a technique to course of my emotions in peace, externally. Shouting my ache whereas furiously scrubbing it over with a veneer to downplay its significance, I squeezed my eyes shut hoping somebody would peel the highest away to show improper the loneliness I shoved beneath. And somebody, my grandma or whoever else, all the time did.

Artwork is a technique to heal, not as a result of it guarantees aid, however as a result of it guarantees launch. An exhale of the emotions we will’t untangle inside ourselves, blurted out in paint, present defiantly, proudly, as a result of no matter it’s, it’s sufficient simply as it’s. Whoever we’re is sufficient. Simply as artwork is.

This, to me, is what makes artwork so integral to psychological well being. It lets us pave our personal technique to understanding, at our personal tempo, with our personal palettes. But it surely additionally invitations others to hitch us on the journey, in order that even when at first we’re alone, not less than the trail has been lit.

After I discovered concerning the mission behind The Giving Gallery, I knew contributing was a no brainer. A technique to share artwork whereas donating to psychological well being charities like Psychological Well being America – what higher technique to honor all the things artwork has been for me? To understand all that artwork has been and can be for another person?

Artists, share your work with The Giving Gallery – allow us to heal alongside you. Artwork lovers, browse The Giving Gallery – allow us to study alongside you. Artwork is many issues, however maybe what it’s most is that chipped doorway to a cafeteria the place, unceremoniously so, it homes all our loves and distastes in a single place – typically subsequent to at least one one other, typically in remoted corners, promising an indulgent, curiously, wondrously shared second of humanity.

Diana Chao is a Giving Gallery artist and the founding father of Letters to Strangers, a world youth-for-youth psychological well being group. She is a part of the 2023-2024 MHA Younger Leaders Council. Beforehand a part of Adobe’s inaugural World High Expertise cohort, her pictures has been featured by Vogue Italia, Redbubble, Adobe MAX, and extra.


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