NU Active Minds to host art gallery focusing on mental health

Alexis White, Assistant Campus Editor

NU Active Minds has begun collecting submissions for a new art show in Norris University Center, which will showcase work from students expressing their states of mental health.

Caroline Gaglio, the group’s special events co-chair, said NU Active Minds — a mental health advocacy, awareness and education group — collected physical submissions Sunday in Norris and will continue to accept submissions until Feb. 4 via email. Gaglio said all forms of art will be accepted and displayed. She said current submissions range from paintings to sculptures or poems.

“There are a lot of people out there that struggle with mental health and find a healthy outlet through art,” the Weinberg junior said. “So I kind of want to make that known and make mental health not so much a shameful thing but something that can be celebrated.”

Gaglio said the show will begin its run Feb. 5, and there will be a public reception in Norris on Feb. 12. She said the exhibition is in the NU Galleria in Norris to make it accessible to as many students as possible.

Weinberg junior Brooke Strodder, a member of NU Active Minds’ special events committee, said the show will help students look at mental illness in a more personal way. She said mental illnesses are often discussed in clinical terms, but art can evoke different emotions.

“You might connect with (the art),” Strodder said. “You might be able to identify in a piece of art feelings you might feel but you might not have been able to articulate or physically express.”

Gaglio said she used to work in an art gallery with an art therapy program and saw its positive impacts. One artist who submitted work to NU Active Minds, Mac Lim, said she went to art therapy for more than three years.

Lim created a mixed-media piece with black and red acrylic paint and shards of mirror pasted into a frame. The Weinberg freshman said her work represents what it’s like to experience anxiety because the piece itself is “disorienting.” She said art has helped her express herself.

“People have outlets for things they do to express their feelings because sometimes words just aren’t enough,” Lim said.

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