Local artist brings insight into mental well-being through art

For a night, the Motion Gallery was an intimate space filled music, art, and connection, as part of a local dancer’s series dedicated to bringing insight in an entertaining fashion.

As an effort to raise awareness in regards to mental health, Krizia Carlos, a nurse and dancer, started her first project, titled [I’m]possible: Breaking Barriers; Connecting Communities, the first of her series called Canvas is Me, which premiered on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 7 p.m. until midnight.

The series, according to Carlos, “looks at the self—it looks at life as a blank canvas.”

From her point of view, the exploration of the self is an art, painting one’s experiences onto a canvas.”

With [I’m]possible, Carlos wants to provide a space for discussion and exploration of mental health and the difference between that of mental well-being and mental illness, which she says people still have a hard time differentiating between the two because of the lack of information needed to understand.

The project was based off of her work as a nurse, where she would provide a space where patients had the freedom to express their selves within an artistic manner.

“It was good—there was a lot of life, a lot of creativity,” she says.

“You see people laugh, break out of their shell and smile—the [transition to the project] happened organically.

“[This] came out of love … it felt like I was helping.”

The event was split into three acts: Labels, where, through spoken word and poetry, artists addressed the stigma of mental health and, to that effect, illness; Health and Well Being, where artists would delve into the holistic side of mental wellness—the mind, body, and the spirit; and Empowerment, which spoke about “embracing our uniqueness and destinies.” “Having a community and talking about issues holds weight with me,” says Gracia Di’nzau, event coordinator for the event.

He says having a way to express one’s self is important, and so is community.

“Being alone is an abominable feeling when you don’t have an outlet or someone to talk to.”

And through bridging the gap between art and mental health, Di’nzau says both go hand in hand, as “art is a beautiful way to level.”

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