The Canadian Mental Health Association is proud to host the 19th Annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show & Sale. Art has a therapeutic quality that has proven to benefit the mental health of individuals.

Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale highlights the works of local artists as they share their inspiring stories about recovery, healing, and hope. Participating artists share works that delve into the world of mental health and mental health challenges.

The show encourages candid conversations around mental illness and wellness. CMHA Vernon is dedicated to reducing the stigma within our community that affects people who live with mental illness.

For artists with lived experience with mental illness, showcasing their work is a significant opportunity to educate the public about the lives, creativity, and abilities of individuals in our community affected by this often-stigmatized illness.

“Awakening the Spirit Art Show provides a real connection for all people. It can bring to light so many different journeys, so many stories. We know that creative expression can transform the lives of people that have lived experiences of mental health. We lose a significant part of our lived experiences when we limit ourselves to words. Some people can put their feelings into words beautifully. Still, for others, it can be a struggle.” Samantha Beeson, Awakening the Spirit Committee Member, says, “Art inspires and challenges us, but it can also improve our health and wellbeing- and that can change lives.”

When people think about mental health, most think of the term as negative. We want to shine a more positive light on these issues. We want to spark positive conversations around mental health. This art show gives artists a safe way to sort uncomfortable feelings that can manifest themselves in symptoms of anxiety, depression, distress, grief, or pain.

“The Vernon Community Arts Centre is honoured to host Awakening the Spirit for the fifth consecutive year. The exhibit continues to inspire, educate, and create dialogue around the positive impacts of art and creativity and has become one of our most anticipated shows. It takes courage for artists to share their work and personal stories. Still, in doing so, it allows for deeper understanding and connection with our community and invites others to explore their own ways of self-expression,” says Sheri Kunzli, VCAC Marketing Coordinator. “Congratulations to all the artists involved.”

Join us in celebrating the creative talents of people living with mental illness. We encourage our community to visit the gallery and view the fantastic work of our local artists. The show runs until August 22nd, 2022, at Vernon Community Arts Centre (2704A Highway 6, Vernon, BC).

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