For Immediate Release
March 13, 2019
Creating Empowering Supports for Student Mental Health
Calgary, AB – Showcasing personal stories of resilience, the Hear/d Residency art exhibition, presented by the Alberta University of the Arts Students’ Association (formerly the Alberta College of Art & Design), opens on Wednesday, April 3. The student art exhibition runs until Wednesday, April 17 in the main mall of the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), with the reception taking place on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m.
The Hear/d Residency program is a one of a kind program, founded by the AUArts Students’ Association in an effort to support student mental health in an creative and innovative manner. This unique program provides a safe space for students from different disciplines within the university to talk about their lived experience and create artwork reflecting their mental health, which consequently builds comradery and a community of support. The residency functions as a peer support program, while also providing professional development opportunities for student mentors who facilitate the program. Over the course of the 3-month residency, student mentors facilitate weekly meetings, studio visits and a group critique which supports the participants and the projects being made. The residency concludes with a two-week long exhibition where members of the community can observe the collection of unique works crafted, helping the mission and message resonate.
This semester’s exhibition is titled Métamorphe, which is representative of the group’s collective experience with navigating mental health in the post-secondary context. Two time participant and current Hear/d Mentor Winona Julian outlines, “after initially participating in the Hear/d Residency, I felt liberated and unashamed in regards to my mental health issues. After participating a second time, my feelings towards destigmatizing mental health were only confirmed further. I strongly believe in the importance of this residency, especially within our school community.”
While the program promotes the de-stigmatization of mental health on campus, it simultaneously supports students in their personal and professional development. Hear/d Mentor Syl Reddick explains their own experience as a participant, “my piece in the 2017 Fall Hear/d Residency was an embroidered comic illustrating the experience of dissociation in a bathroom. I was the only first year in my residency and I felt the need to push myself conceptually and materially in order to create work I was proud of. I learned a lot about my own practice from the Hear/d residency and now I want to pass that vital experience on to others.”
AUArts Students’ Association is a visible and vocal student-run organization that represents a creative community of students. They promote health and well-being, provide professional growth opportunities and champion students’ interests.
For more information regarding the Hear/d Residency program, please visit www.auarts-sa.ca / www.acadsa.ca.
For more information and to arrange interviews contact:
Jeannie Gorrie, Health + Wellness Program Manager
Alberta University of the Arts Students’ Association
t. 403 284 7625 firstname.lastname@example.org