Tag: artists

Fierce Catalyst: Artists, the Creative Life & Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness


Post of Feature Catalog Essay for Mindful:  Exploring Mental Health Through Art:


Fierce Catalyst: Artists, the Creative Life & Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness

Wellness is best envisioned along a spectrum, having at one end mental health and the other mental illness. When thinking on the status of the mind, however, most people have a strong connotation only of the latter. How to address mental health? And what is the connection between it, mental illness and creativity? Mental dis-ease remains “hidden behind a wall of secrecy and isolation,” states the exhibition statement for Mindful. Abolishing that stigma should be inspired by the spirit of creative artists, that segment of the population whose way of being in the world brings them variously close to both ends of this spectrum.

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There’s a fixation on health in this country– but the wrong focus. In attempt to fix the body and eradicate illness, ‘wellness’ visits are made up of tests and screens as precedent in a culture of doctoring… to dispel fear of cancer, heart disease, infectious disease. But what is feared the most is avoided. Mental health is utterly terrifying to most folks. Mental illness is vilified and the proper nature of wellness along a mental health spectrum is misunderstood. Yet mental health, which affects the somatic, is the most crucial aspect of individual and societal overall health.

Wellness has to do with the mind, far more than any physical debilitation that’s occurring due to imbalance. Wellness is acceptance, comfort, ease, connectedness to self. It is balance, and an arching toward wholeness defined at the mental health end of that spectrum…where at the other lies illness, lack of ease.

Art allows for ease.   (more…)

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Feature Catalog Essay Published for “Mindful”

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Talking Outside ‘Quiet Rooms’

Stagehands & Skilled Working Class To Talk Outside ‘Quiet Rooms’

c Lisa A. Miles 1/21/12

Toward 2011’s end, the article entitled “Stagehands Circumvented for First Night” was published, including on Occupy With Art nationally .  It was picked up locally in shortened form by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and linked to online by the Pgh City Paper.  Raising public awareness of the plight of these stagehands, who are part of our city’s working class, is critical.

What IATSE Local 3 members decided to do, on Dec. 31, was hand out informational pamphlets early in the day downtown, so as not to appear to be ruining the family festivities of First Night.  But they had every right to appear in the evening, had they chosen, to bring their cause to the forefront– something the Pgh. Cultural Trust, the City and others, apparently, think they shouldn’t be doing.


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