Lane County, Oregon, where I reside, has declared the month of May as "Mind Your Mind Month." The Mind Your Mind Project aims to raise awareness about the connection between mental health and the quality of life, and suggests a number of ways in which we can participate during the month, including spreading their message on social media. The activity that got my attention was a call to artists for the Mind Your Mind Art Contest and Exhibit to be held at The New Zone Artist's Collective. In addition to submitting a piece of art that expresses "What Mental Wellness Means To Me", artists were also asked to write a short statement, which will be displayed with the exhibited works.
Here's what I wrote for my submission:
"For me, the act of creating art lies somewhere in the gap between an ideal of perfection I think I should achieve and the imperfection of taking action and getting the work out into the world. Expressing ideas in visual form, even when imperfectly perfect, relieves me of the mental anguish I may have about my own abilities, and in fact helps me to see the depths of my capacities."The framed photograph is an iPhone image I took for my Instagram feed, where I enjoy creating and sharing floral flat lay compositions. I've titled it Rite Of Spring, With Tea. In this particular arrangement, I attempt to symbolize the transient nature of life, or sakura as it is referred to in Japan: an homage to one's state of mind when struggling with coming to terms with our collective impermanence.
Shortly after the submission deadline, I received an email letting me know that my photograph was selected for the show. This is the first juried show that I've submitted artwork to, and considering the level of artistic talent in my town, I feel honored to have been chosen.
The Mind Your Mind art exhibit will open this Friday, May 6th at 5:30 p.m. at The New Zone Artist's Collective, and is part of the city of Eugene's First Friday Art Walk. Besides viewing the works on display in the gallery, there will be music and refreshments to enjoy.