Pawnee Mental Health Services
Unmasking Mental Illness Art Exhibit
Artwork on display from Pawnee Mental Health Services
To commemorate its 55th anniversary, Pawnee Mental Health Services is collaborating with the Clay County Medical Center to bring to the public a display of art from Pawnee’s clients, families, and friends that reside Clay, Cloud, Geary, Jewell, Marshall, Mitchell, Pottawatomie, Republic, Washington, and Riley counties. The exhibit will run April 16, 2012 – May 21, 2012.
The exhibit features pieces of work ranging from paintings to pottery located in the Dining Room and the display case by the front entrance of Clay County Medical Center.
The display brings attention to the fact that mental disorders are common in the United States. Each year approximately one in four adults is diagnosed with a mental disorder. One in seventeen people suffer from mental illness, and one in five children have a diagnosable mental health problem. Mental health problems are real, common, and treatable.
Hope is waiting… Help is Here. Pawnee Mental Health Services is a licensed community mental health center and licensed substance abuse treatment center serving more than 7,700 people annually.
About one of the Artist on display.
Pictured above - Junk of the Heart
I have been teaching art to K-12th graders for nearly ten years. In the last three years, I have become fixated on my students not “wasting” anything. I am constantly spraying down paint with water to keep it usable. It is also common to see me digging in the trash because “I can use this for something.” Through this, I have been collecting discarded materials that I feel could be used within my art.
My artwork is built one layer at a time. Although my theme is aimed at portraying the various emotions the heart can experience; when I begin a piece, I do not have an image of what the end result might be. I incorporate what I am feeling into the materials I have found on my scavenger encounters.
I have always despised the symbol of the heart. To me, it represented something that everyone knows how to draw, and a sappy feeling of love…uggghhhh!!! I thought, “Real artists don’t use hearts, or any symbols for that matter.” The year 2007, I went through an incredibly tumultuous time in my life. The result, I literally “felt” the spectrum of emotions my heart endured. This phenomenon has led me to redefine what I thought the “heart” represented. My series “Junk of the Heart” represents all the junk, or emotions, that can be endured and what we choose “do” with them. The product is a metaphor for how the "junk" of our hearts can be transformed and reinvented into art.
To learn more about Pawnee Mental Health Services visit or call one of these locations:
210 W. 21st Street, Concordia, KS
2001 Claflin Road, Manhattan, KS
814 Caroline Avenue, Junction City, KS