Call-out for submissions for Mental Health Art Exhibition

Submissions can come from anywhere in the South Okanagan or Similkameen

Artwork is now being considered for the 11th annual Mental Health Art Exhibit to be held at the end of September at the Penticton Art Gallery as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

“You don’t have to be a person that has a mental health illness. You just have to have something you want to say about mental health illness,” said Sharon Evans, president of the South Okanagan Similkameen Mental Wellness Society.

On average, the show takes in 40 pieces from artists throughout the South Okanagan and Similkameen. Evans said organizers like artists to limit their submission to one per person. This year submissions are being accepted until Aug. 17.

“We have to limit otherwise we don’t have enough room,” she said. “For some people, it’s part of their social interactions so they go to a program and do art together with other people. For other people, they’re just creative. They’re the van Gogh’s of our area. For other people, it’s a way of expressing whatever it is that might be troubling them.”

Evans said the show accepts all kind of artwork from paintings, drawings, photographs to sculpture, metalwork and even quilts.

This year, a quilt will be raffled off as part of a fundraiser and the winner announced during the Move to Defeat Depression walk on Sept. 29 at Rotary Park in Penticton.

Artists do have the ability to sell their work, but negotiations and pricing are handled by artist and the customer.

The art show is a joint effort by Paul Crawford, Penticton Art Gallery curator and Valerie Wood, society volunteer.

Questions during the opening and throughout the run of the show help open a dialogue about mental illness.

Anyone wanting to put their work into the show should contact Sharon Evans at the Mental Wellness Centre at 250-493-7338 or email bcsspenticton@shaw.ca.

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