PIQUA — The Upper Valley Career Center interactive media class will have the opportunity to make what was once an idea, a thought, or an experience into a conceptual work of art to show what recovery from addiction or mental illness looks like.
Brad Reed, director of resource development at the Tri-County Board of Mental Health, visited Susan Caudill’s interactive media class on Wednesday, familiarizing them with the Art of Recovery art exhibition that is to be hosted by the board in October at Edison Community College. Reed said he thinks involving more youth in the show would be invaluable.
“I think (showing youth art is) going to benefit the art display, because it is going to bring in a new perspective of younger people,” Reed said. “What I’m hoping this year is that not only we get art submissions … this is an opportunity to have young people start thinking about what it means for people with mental illness.”
The exhibit will showcase artwork, anything from paintings to music, and depict recovery from addiction or mental illness at any stage. Artists can show their own process of the early stages of recovery or after their crisis was averted. Other artists can express recovery from an outsider’s perspective. The display showcases an average of 70-80 pieces.
“We ask people to tell us a story or a representation of what recovery means to them … for many of them, the art they create is therapeutic,” Reed said to the class. With the class, learning how to use images and words to communicate, both Reed and Caudill thought involving interactive media students in the exhibit would be beneficial.
Seeing the artwork from her students, Caudill gets an idea of their background and lives outside of the classroom.
“(Students) use art as an outlet all the time. It’s interesting what I see in all the kids,” Caudill said. “I think it is just one more avenue for them to understand that they can go ahead and express themselves, but then they can also see how something they create can be used.”
Caudill’s students’ work may go further than the exhibit, being used for future promotions for the mental health board as well.
Reed and Caudill collaborated on the idea of incorporating her students into the art show over a year ago. Reed is also on the interactive media advisory committee at UVCC and understands the curriculum students have and helps to incorporate community opportunities for students. This will be the first year that both interactive media juniors and seniors will participate in the show.
“I think we will be surprised with a couple of pieces coming from (students), telling a real story that we may not know yet,” Caudill said.
The exhibit will take place from Oct. 5-30, with open house on Oct. 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. Juried gallery submission deadline is Sept. 14 and open showcase submission deadline is Oct. 12.
For more information, visit www.tcbmds.org/art or contact Reed at ReedB@tcbmds.org or (937) 335-7727. The submission form can be found online at the web address provided.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.