NEW Art Gallery
We are very excited to share with you our
Local Artist Exhibition Space
We are featuring artwork created by those affected with mental health and/or substance abuse problems that are in recovery.
“Rip Van Winkle Bridge” by Brian Belt
My name is Brian Belt. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, and substance abuse disorder in 2005. For years I self-medicated in the form of severe alcohol abuse in attempt to erase my disturbed thought process. This behavior not only negatively impacted me but family members and loved ones alike. In the year 2010, I moved to a community residence called the Hearth in Columbia County, New York and got introduced to recovery classes to manage my thought process in a healthy way. Overtime, I developed and advanced the recovery skills I learned to the point I began to teach others that were similarly affected. I am now a certified peer specialist in the state of New York and continue my outreach work. During my recovery process, I began to develop digital artwork skills that led me to produce videos and digitally stylized photographs.
These are a few examples of my digital artwork creations. My digital artwork provided an added channel/method to dilute dark memories and thoughts associated with my mental health problems so that I was better able to handle stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. The pictures attached are all digitally stylized pictures I took of Columbia County landmarks. The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the Copake Clock, and Bash Bish Falls. I am also an active NAMI member and continue to work on a project called the Mental Health Awareness Gallery, wherein, others with mental health problems are given a public platform to showcase their creative work to de-stigmatize mental illness in the surrounding community.
“Untitled” work by Diane Brackett
The aim of my work is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but to have an inward experience of peace and calm. While working, I entertain memories of my aunt and grandmother who taught me so much in life and who incidentally, also had agoraphobia. While working on art, my mind stops the cycle of anxious, negative thoughts and brooding and focuses more on the beautiful thing I may be able to create.
“Clock” by Chris Lannes
Please stop by next week to see more from our local artists.