Recognition... Validation... Reassurance...

Fri November 3 - Wed January 3, 2018
Recognition... Validation... Reassurance...


Arts Commons Presents
Lightbox Studio

Recognition... Validation... Reassurance...
Dick Averns
Location: Lightbox Studio (Beside the Martha Cohen Theatre)
Dates: November 3, 2017 to January 3, 2018
Artist Reception: Happenings 10 in the Engineered Air Theatre of Arts Commons on Monday, November 27, 2017 from 6pm-9pm

As a public art project Recognition... Validation... Reassurance... Art + Mental Wellness takes the form of a social practice, presenting a prototype framework and process to improve both personal and collective mental health. The title for this initiative appears as a kinetic neon sculpture designed as an alluring, rhythmic, illuminating beacon, suggesting ways to address topics that are at times hard to speak about. Specifically, recognition, validation, and reassurance are keys to 'belonging' in that they are social processes that address the invisibility and feelings of isolation that so often accompany mental distress.

In the Lightbox Studio, artist Dick Averns is collaborating with SPARK Disability Arts Festival to utilize spaces in and around Arts Commons: engaging public audiences on the topic of mental wellness. Workshop opportunities will enable participants to create their own framework for exploring and narrating personal experiences, facilitating self-expression through collage, drawing, and text-based art.

With one-in-five Canadians facing a mental health challenge and two out of three unlikely to seek help, a social art practice that seeks to engage multiple audiences can make a positive impact on the way mental wellness is addressed in our world. Thus, the key question being addressed in this initiative is: How do you create a framework for mental wellness?

The exhibition also includes workshop opportunities that will encourage participants to self-express through collage, drawing, and text-based art. Sign up here for:

Free workshop November 16th, 5-8pm: Recognition... Validation... Reassurance... Art + Mental Wellness
Free workshop November 23rd, 5-8pm: Recognition... Validation... Reassurance... Art + Mental Wellness

Artist Biography:

Dick Averns is a Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist, writer and U of C Art Instructor. He is particularly engaged with art as a social practice involving community members. Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in adulthood, Dick is an advocate for improving community mental wellness through art, teaching, and volunteering.

Originally from the UK, Dick has an MFA from UBC and has exhibited and presented his art and research internationally, including being deployed to The Middle East as an official Canadian War Artist. When not teaching, writing, or making art, Dick likes to run, cross-country ski, and grow food in his backyard.

Lightbox Studio at Arts Commons is an experimental studio and exhibition space that promotes studio-based projects, running in 2-3 month intervals. This project is supported by the City of Calgary and Calgary Arts Development.