United States of America

Merana Cadorette

As an artist, I have been fortunate that I can paint my way through the highs and lows of my life.  I have friends and family that do not have that outlet, and/or have far more serious mental issues than I.

I noticed that many people have a difficult problem understanding a non-visible illness.  With my artwork, I hoped to present pieces that provoked the feelngs of of anxiety, despair and depression in a way that was beautiful enough to make someone look closely, but disturbing enough to make the viewer hopefully get a feeling and relation to the mental anguish that is suffered.  My wish is these paintings give people a way to start a comversation and open up between those who suffer and those who want and need a visual reference to understand.

"Sinking into Depression" is a passive descent into the depths. The further down, the less light and warmth, and the more obstacles it looks like to even attempt to surface. A gradual, soul-sucking experience.
"Falling into Despair" is an active tumble away from color, light, and life. The further down, the more things crumble and fall apart. This encompasses the ideas of spiraling down, brain storms of flashing lights and the teetering brink of insanity.

Mark Durso

City:

My story is a bit complicated. I work as a Forensic Mental Health provider for those who are caught in the legal system and have serious mental health conditions. My professional goal is to provide treatment and connect indidivuals to supports in the community to reduce the risk of re offending and mental health relapse. Thats really where my story ends. All of my art is influenced by mental illness. From my inception to the art world first picking up a crayon at a young age, throughtout my life, and until today. Mental Illness effects everyone of my pieces. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder many years ago. I always knew something was not right and believe that I held the diagnosis long before I sought treatment. I actualy kept my illness to my self for many, many years. I obtained my masters degree and supported those with the most debilitating mental health conditions but did nothing to treat my own. I consider myself lucky that I fell into the professional mental health field. I made connections with the best providers in my area. After years of not treating my illness I could not go on. It was to invasive. Intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and the pressure of it all. I went to work evert day and pushed it back into my mind. One day I could not take it any longer. I left work mid day and showed up at a collegues office. I am not much of an emotional person but was filled with tears, I could not go on like this. I was prescibed medications as immedialty my collegue felt the pain I was expericning. The medications intially helped but eventually made it worse. Pill upon pills I was 28 years old taking 6-8 pills per day mutliple times per day. Some put me to sleep, some made me drool, some even made me stop thinking. I would see my patients, take a pill, and see the next. I was exisiting but not living. After a brief period of addiction to benzodiapines I developed due to my prescriptons, I decided I would be the one who took control of my life, not some pill. I worked on a plan to wean myself off and begin working on skills to create healthy thinking habits. These skills I knew all too well as I taught them but I did not use them personally. Given my expericne, I have made it my professional goals to provide the best support to those expericning debiitating effects of mental illness. While my patients, collegues, and most of my family do not know my personal struggles, my mission is to treat everyone with fairness and equality, no matter what the situation is. My collegues and patients always hear my mantra "there is not much difference between that side of the table and this one" it becuase there is not. I have been on the recieving end of a broken mental health system. I was once told by a professional that my "OCD is the worst case they have ever seen". That made me fight harder. Wake up everyday, better myself, beter those around me, and make it past the hell I thought would last forever. My journey is far from over. But if i can provide one thing to the people that I work with and the world is that there is hope. Hope in the darkest of places. Hope that with work things do get better. My OCD provided me a perspective in life I would have not got otherwise. I began to value things I once took advantge of. Simple things such as time spent with others, time spent alone, nature, even art. So for those of you reading this, no matter what the situation is, you can find hope. Everything is temporary no matter how difficult it is. Emotions and feelings replace themsleves and time and space re-create. There is alway a silver lining and if we look hard enough we can always find it but need to remember, we cannot give up hope.

Acrylic and ink
Acrylic and ink
Acrylic and ink
Acrylic and ink

Brian Trees

City:

These photos depict the challenges faced by people experiencing Depression and Bipolar Disorder, and sources of hope.  Too many people are lost to suicide.  All face challenges every day, including the yo-yo of mania and depression, forfeiture of independence and decision making to others, daily difficulties with getting up and pulling out of the darkness and lonliness and inability to find empathetic people who can help.  It is difficult to look at the blank, expressionless, discouraged faces of people confronted with mental illness.  At the same time, there is hope and beauty and opportunities to see the positive and rise up.

Abandoned phone booths in the desert in Arizona, showing that at times there is no way of calling for help
Monument Valley, Utah in the morning - a reminder of beauty and hope
Seabirds in Florida - soaring high and free and invoking joy
Reddish clouds after a severe thunderstorm conveying the message that there is solace and respite after the worst
Solitary tree. Showing how alone people with mental illness feel, looking into the darkness

Mattie Egerter

I was so giddy to capture this scene!! I’ve never seen a heron catch anything besides fish, but here he got a vole/rodent Getting this shot made me love Cattus Island and I can’t wait to go back!
I love seeing wood ducks! All their colors just scream fall and I can’t wait to see more of them!
Found this cutie in Florida, i have never seen monkeys in person, so I'm now in love!
Bio: 

Welcome to my adventure!!

I'm a Jersey shore native, discovering all the natural beauty around me. I love the chase of animal photography and discovering new birds and anything else that intrigues me.

I can't wait to see some gorgeous animals and destinations; I'm excited to share my photographic journey with you!

Max Wolf

City:

Bief is a call to reach and touch; Bief is a representation of lamentation and loneliness. The inspiration for this image is that of the solitude which is forced upon our existences in light of the ongoing pandemic. My embattlement with severe long-term complications of coronavirus have resulted in significant deposits of agony, emotionally and physically; the universal pain that embattles our world today is one that would be so easily solved in any other predicament with a resolving physical embrace.

Bief is a call to reach and touch; Bief is a representation of lamentation and loneliness. The inspiration for this image is that of the solitude which is forced upon our existences in light of the ongoing pandemic. My embattlement with severe long-term complications of coronavirus have resulted in significant deposits of agony, emotionally and physically; the universal pain that embattles our world today is one that would be so easily solved in any other predicament with a resolving physical embrace.
Bio: 

Max Wolf — in the eyes of John Slye, the journalist that interviewed Wolf on their artistic process last year — “recalibrated fashion portraiture’s traditional framing” by developing a unique and emerging perspective on visual artistry, interjecting tones of drama and humanity in their intimate, neoclassic portraiture as well as their radical abstract forays. Wolf, based out of Chicago, Illinois and New York, New York, has been published internationally with exhibitions and publications based out of New York, Milan, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Istanbul, Tehran, Miami, San Jose, Oakland, Doncaster, Orlando and Tampa, provoking audiences with works that “[punch] far above their weight [in creativity]. Wolf has been curated by the editorial team at Vogue Italia to their online Photo Vogue platform on nineteen occasions, utilizing intriguing visual storytelling that maintains the polished detail-attentive aesthetic of the editorial giant. Wolf has been recognized generously by Visual Supply Co. (VSCO), most recently having been recognized in the form of an interview detailing and demonstrating their artistic process; Wolf attached insight and interview commentary to depictions of juxtaposing paired imagery that were published in a previous editorial publication by Kendal Kulley, Wolf having a history of curations to a plethora of select collections by the staff at VSCO. Wolf’s recent virtual exhibition, Alchemy, was subsequently picked up by Art Upon Contemporary, Artheme Gallery and MoCA Digital, as their visual works tackling the complex and shrouded waves of solidarity and grief in the onset of the coronavirus pandemic have been picked up by several platforms, including that of the COVID Art Museum detailed in editorials for VICE, MSN, The National, VICE Spain, Print Magazine and Playground Magazine. Wolf has been inducted into the digital archive of Iconic Artist, demonstrating the imminence of their impact on the main stage of thought-provoking contemporary photography.

Briarwood Bohemian

I took this photo in 2017, while walking through the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was rainy and gloomy that day. Playing in the sidewalk puddles, I came across some ordinary apartment buildings. Standing back to look at them, their symmetry grabbed my eye and I began shooting photos; they were anything but ordinary to me now.

A black and white photograph showing three apartment buildings in Manhattan. The one in the center is the main focus of the photograph.
Bio: 

I'm a New York City based artist, photographer and writer. I'm passionate about art sustainability and community engagement. 

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