“The science of mental health involves things, we know from research, that tend to lead to wellness,” Miller said. “The art is figuring out, on an individual basis, what works for each person.”
Miller said art is something that is really important to her. She feels a creative process does something that helps her feel excited and energized.
“If you take a different person, the art of their mental health might be a completely different fixture,” Miller said. “It might be taking medications as prescribed, making sure they're spending time with others, or just being social.”
Miller said art therapy is an intrapersonal process of figuring out what helps you to be well and figuring out how to do as much of that as possible.
“I started to think about other things we could do to get people in, seeing the exhibit, and get them talking about mental health. That’s where the community event was born,” Miller said.
There will be an open studio with an array of art supplies for people to practice many art forms such as painting, sculpting or multimedia works.
Bridget Pemberton-Smith is the development director at the Art Therapy Institute of North Carolina, which is contributing art supplies to the event.
“Part of our mission is to expand the knowledge about art therapy and give people the opportunity to learn more about its benefits,” Pemberton-Smith said.
Pemberton-Smith said art can be a tool for achieving mental health or for processing life events.
“It's just a unique way of exploring one's life and how we interact in the world," Pemberton-Smith said. "Instead of just doing talk therapy, art is a great way to tell your story and process events."
The event is open to the public to come explore the themes of art and mental health.
“I hope attendees can gain a greater understanding of how art can benefit one's mental health and also just creating art is enriching and rewarding,” Pemberton-Smith said. “Hopefully they decide to start making art a part of their daily lives.”
Hillary Rubesin is the executive director at the Art Therapy Institute and will be in attendance at the event.
“I think it’s important to destigmatize mental health — and by doing a community-based art show, that's a way to normalize mental health issues,” Rubesin said.
Rubesin said while typical verbal psychotherapy is very confidential, she feels that giving people the space to share their art work about their own mental health, if they want to, is an empowering process that helps destigmatize mental health.
“We’re allowed to take an idea or a struggle happening inside of us and put it out there on a piece of paper, canvas or a sculpture, and look at it outside of ourselves and then come up with a new image, maybe a healing image and then you can bring that back inside.”