Coming end of 2020!

Our mental health is a mosaic of realizations, experiences, skills, perspectives, treatments, and DNA, with the pieces held together by the fractures and open space between. I Get It is a public art exhibition for exploring this mosaic. Leave a piece. Take a piece. Build better mental health.

I Get It is an ever-expanding and ever-changing exhibition that is both accessible to the public and is enlivened by creative expressions that come from the public. It serves as a safe space for creative exploration, shared understanding, inspiration, and emotional learning. I Get It includes: (1) a social media-based oral history collection that consists of personal messages and storytelling about finding one’s way toward better mental health; and (2) artistic works display that expresses this journey creatively. I Get It is open to all forms of creative expression, whether it comes through the brush, the pen, the camera, the dancefloor, the voice, or other mediums that can be shared in a public virtual display. Curated by the National Museum of Mental Health Project, I Get It is a communication platform for the exchange of creative energy that can positively lead toward better mental health.

What does it mean to “get it”?

Every time a light switch is flipped on within one person, and every time the heart or mind of one person can look upon mental health with a deeper understanding and increased empathy, they have an “I get it” experience. Every time someone with lived experience can look upon their own situation, and understand themselves more clearly and more lovingly, they have an “I get it” experience. And, an “I get it” experience can even exist whenever someone who does not understand mental illness can at least say to an affected friend, loved one, or co-worker “I don’t understand what you are dealing with, but I get that it is real and difficult for you. Please let me know if I can help.”

Through creative and personal expression, I Get It seeks to increase our chances at an individual level and a societal level of finding understanding and acceptance in the face of mental health challenges. The process of “getting it” is ongoing and no one ever reaches a full or perfect understanding of oneself or another – that is not the goal of I Get It. One person, one moment, one additional piece of a puzzle: this is how understanding is advanced. 

Why public art?

I Get It seeks to advance our collective understanding of mental health in the same manner that the AIDS Quilt and other public art projects have educated people at an intellectual and emotional level. By collecting lived experiences, I Get It will document public views about mental health and wellness at this point in time. It is our hope that those who are deeply connected to and touched by these topics will contribute a piece of their mental health mosaic to I Get It, building a place of compassion, hope, and faith in the belief that by creatively sharing our journeys, our lives can improve. Although managed by NMMHP, I Get It fundamentally belongs to the community; it is founded on the principle that genuine connection is built through expression, and it is a canvas that is yours to share. 

  

Who can submit artistic contributions?  

What is the specific theme for artistic contributions? The National Museum of Mental Health Project will serve as the custodian of I Get It and will curate and display this collection of digital artistic works, which will be on loan from collaborators who will include:

 

  1. Visual artists who respond to a call for I Get It artistic contributions that may include: paintings; drawings; photography; video arts; sculpture; and the like.

  2. Performing artists who respond to a call for I Get It artistic contributions that may include: music; spoken word poetry; raps; dance; and the like.

  3. Authors who respond to a call for I Get It artistic contributions that may include: poems; short stories; and the like.

  4. Everyday people who have lived experience with mental illness, family or friends with mental illness, or supportive messages about mental health who respond to a call for I Get It videos of support. These videos will become part of the I Get It oral history collection.

All artistic, video and personal contributions related to your mental health journey are welcome as long as they comply with our submission guidelines.

The National Museum of Mental Health Project, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and “museum without walls” that researches and creates exhibitions that can transform society’s attitudes about, and understanding of, mental health. Through the development of online exhibits, NMMHP does what museums do best – educate, interpret, advance dialogue, and develop literacy on the topic of mental health. 

  

The Project seeks to:

  • Develop and display exhibitions by facilitating collaboration among artists, curators, mental health professionals, people with lived experience, and others who seek to share talents and knowledge.

  • Share research related to exhibits about mental health and wellness.

  • Build alliances with community, local, and national not-for-profit, for-profit, governmental, and educational entities who are similarly interested in creating positive mental health outcomes.

  • Inspire the development of a national museum of mental health.

The Project extends from a research fellowship at Assumption University.