It's impossible to trace back the origins of the ideas for the OpenMind::OpenArt Project, but one thing is clear: throughout the highs and throughout the lows, art keeps coming back. In fact, it hasn't even gone anywhere. It is always present.
If we all identify with art in a different way, and we use that identification to break down our tendencies and learn more about ourselves, then art becomes a pathway by which we naturally, emotionally, and intellectually heal ourselves in a remedy that's as customized as our brains are unique.
The OpenMind::OpenArt Project is Jessica Artiles's brainchild, a product of many an attempt at using art to both creatively deplete the pain and express the un-attainable. Jessica is an MIT undergrad turned grad turned Staff turned GRA/First Lady. As a student, she did not understand what it meant to have art as a hobby, nor did she ever think of herself as an artist. She later learned, however, that community activism, meticulous design of club logos, and acutely crafted speeches for CPW crowds were just as much a form of self-expression as any rendering of a fruit basket. Her deep dive into "Mental Health & Wellness" came after serving on President Reif's Advisory Cabinet and leading a discussion with the Chancellor on the state of the Institute, then, from closely handling situations in her residential community, and, finally, coming to a halting discovery of her own mental abilities while experiencing withdrawal from MIT. "Art Therapy" became part of her vernacular (albeit mockingly), friends leaned on her out of exasperation— they could finally talk to someone about their own superpowers!—, and she soon got to daydreaming about what "Mental Health & Wellness" would look like in the Future. The rest is history...and it happens to be sitting in this Gallery!
This experiment could not have been possible without the support of friends— especially of her partner-in-crime, Morris Vanegas— that venture with her into ruminations about the Future.
Thank you for dreaming, and entertaining; from here, the Future looks awe-full.