If you live in Portland, OR and love art, I'd like to tell you about a wonderful art gallery called J. Pepin Art Gallery. This is a "contemporary art gallery reframing the perception of mental illness by exhibiting the work of professional artists alongside stories of their creative journeys. The gallery is breaking down stigma and inspiring people to think differently about mental health." Jennifer Pepin launched the gallery "to start a positive conversation around mental health and fight the negative portrayal that so frequently exists."
When I first heard about the gallery, I started taking clients I worked with there. It was so lovely to see their interest in the art and I was surprised to hear from so many of them that they "used to do art", "I painted some before I got diagnosed", "I loved to draw but I had to drop out of college when my symptoms got in the way." After going to the gallery, some wanted to go to an art store afterwords. It was very exciting to see their creativity blossom again after they thought, "I can't."