WAG Presents Out of Mind – Into Creativity: Mental Health and the Arts Symposium

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, partnering with Artbeat Studio Inc., presents Out of Mind - Into Creativity a symposium on the topic of mental health and the arts. This important event will explore the relationship between creativity and mental health, open up discussions on its links to social inclusion and the participatory arts and work towards dispelling stigma. This two day symposium will be held in the WAG’s Muriel Richardson Auditorium on November 24 and 25.

“This symposium is largely inspired by the story of William Kurelek, whose work is currently on display in William Kurelek: The Messenger. It is not widely known that Kurelek struggled with mental health for many years. In fact, he specifically sought to work with psychiatrists in London, England utilizing art therapy as a way to find healing through artistic expression. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Jenny Secker as our keynote speaker, and are proud to offer a forum to discuss mental health and the arts,” says WAG Director Stephen Borys.

The symposium will feature a lineup of speakers and panelists from Winnipeg and abroad. The keynote address will be delivered by Jenny Secker, Professor of Mental Health at Anglia Ruskin University, Essex, UK. Dr. Secker has won numerous awards for her research in the area of mental health and social inclusion, with a particular focus on creative endeavour and the participatory arts. In 2009, she received an Arts and Health Award from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) for the study Mental Health, Social Inclusion and the Arts: Developing the Evidence-base.

Panel Topics
Panel 1: Identity Making-Myth Dispelling: Exploring links between art, artists and “madness”
Panel 2: Participatory Arts in the Implementation of Canada’s National Mental Health Strategy
Panel 3: From the margins to the centre: Making art with a mental illness
Panel 4: Balancing Act: Art and the pursuit of mental health

• Nigel Bart, Founder and Studio Facilitator, Artbeat Studio Inc.
• Mary Jo Hughes, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
• Shawn Jordan, Visual Artist
• Lisa Brown, Founder and Executive Director, Workman Arts
• Jenny Secker, Professor of Mental Health, Ruskin Anglia University, UK
• Fran Schellenberg, Executive Director, Manitoba Health, Department of Mental and Spiritual Health
• Chris Summerville, CEO Schizophrenia Society of Canada; Executive Director, Manitoba Schizophrenia Society
• Tanis Dick, Art Therapist, Tanis Dick Associates
• Elaine Mordoch, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba
• Gillian McIntyre, Adult Education Coordinator, Art Gallery of Ontario
• Ryan Smoluk, Visual Artist
• Meagan Brown, Visual Artist

• Michael Shaen, Strategist, Public Inc., Toronto
• Diana Thorneycroft, Visual Artist, Winnipeg
• Thomas Sparling, Executive Director, ACI Manitoba
• Rick Lussier, Director of Community Grants, The Winnipeg Foundation

Visit wag.ca for a registration form and to see the symposium schedule or contact Anna Wiebe, Head of Education at awiebe@wag.ca or call 789.0516.

The symposium is generously supported by Eli Lilly Canada Inc, Manitoba Health, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and The Winnipeg Foundation.

Cost for the full two-day symposium is $100, WAG members $80, students (with ID) $40. A one day pass for Friday’s session is $80, students $20. Tickets for the keynote speaker and reception are $20 (7pm, Thursday, Nov 24).




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