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MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST EPISODE 7: “Inspiring Artists Outside the Mainstream: Studio In-Sight”

 

Tessa Studio In-Sight

Episode 7 of the Mindfully Creative Podcast features Tessa Barr.   Tessa is the Art Specialist for Cornerstone Montgomery’s art program Studio In-Sight. Cornerstone Montgomery empowers people living with mental health and some with co-occurring substance use disorders to live, work and integrate successfully within the community. Tessa holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of art and feels that both her teaching and her art making practice have been heavily informed by the many things she has studied over the years. In particular, she often incorporates her education as a graduate from Tampala Institute’s movement based Expressive Arts Program, studies with Cultural Anthropologist Angeles Arrien and her work with mentor Ruth Boerger (from the Gestalt institute of San Francisco). She began her teaching career working with artists at the Cedars of Marin’s Victory Center for arts and communications in Marin County California. Tessa currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and two dogs.

Studio In-Sight was established in 2006  to bring space and inspiration to artists who may be outside the mainstream. Artists of the Studio In-Sight are the clients of Cornerstone Montgomery, a psychiatric rehabilitation facility in Montgomery County, Maryland (neighboring Washington, DC) that serves those living with a chronic and persistent mental health disorders. The studio is a part of the Life Skills Program whose mission is to guide, train, and empower the clients in a social and supportive atmosphere.

The studio is dedicated to artists who want to work as artists. Studio In-Sight provides a space where art can happen in a safe and nurturing environment. Opportunities to share what is created for the benefit of the artists and for the community are explored regularly. Specially trained staff support and provide guidance as needed.

Dialogue_SIS-2016_020_

Maryland-based, mixed media artist Sandra Davis (right) works on a collaborative art piece with a Studio-In-Sight artist during a visit to the studio in July 2016.  The artwork was displayed as part of the Dialogue exhibition at the Ratner Museum in 2016.

On this episode, Tessa and I talk about what I consider the magic of Studio-In-Sight and specifically how art can help people who are in recovery from mental illness. We also talk about a special exhibition I help to organize and co-curate, Dialogue a collabortive projeect which included professional artists from the Washington, DC area and artists of Studio-In-Sight that was launched in 2016.  Also, Tessa shares advice to artists who are interested in working with people who have mental health challenges in similar programs in their communities.

Dialogue Jpeg

Check out the video below which the artists, curators and organizers, including Yours Truly of Dialogue, share perspectives and experiences from the exhibition project which culuminated into an exhibition that was held last fall at the Personal Visions Gallery at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in Bethesda, Maryland.

Learn more about Studio In-Sight and the Personal Visions Gallery below:

Websites:

Cornerstone Montgomery: http://www.cornerstonemontgomery.org/

Studio In-Sight:  http://studioinsight.org/

Personal Visions Gallery:  http://personalvisionsgallery.org/

Social Media:

Facebook: 

Cornerstone Montgomery: https://www.facebook.com/CornerstoneMontgomery

Studio In-Sight: https://www.facebook.com/cornerstonemontgomerystudioinsight/

Instagram:

Studio In-Sight: https://www.instagram.com/s_insight/

Twitter:  

Cornerstone Montgomery: https://twitter.com/CornerstoneMoCo

Listen to the interview below.  You can subscribe and follow the Mindfully Creative podcast can be heard on Stitch, Google Play and Soundcloud.

MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST: EPISODE 6: “Health Advocacy Through Art”

Health Advocacy Through Art

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Mindfully Creative Podcast series!  This sixth episode focuses on the role that artists can play in advocacy, specifically focusing on how “The Walking Gallery” movement got started to address patient rights in healthcare.  Our special guest is mother, artist, author,  speaker and health advocate, Regina Holliday.

Regina Holliday is a Maryland-based patient advocate and artist known for painting a series of murals depicting the need for clarity and transparency in medical records. This advocacy mission was inspired by her husband Frederick Allen Holliday II and his struggle to get appropriate care. Afflicted with kidney cancer, Fred suffered poor care coordination, a lack of access to data and a series of medical errors and, as a result, lost his battle. During Fred’s 11 weeks of continuous hospitalization in five facilities, Holliday learned that she would have to wait 21 days and would be charged 73 cents per page for Fred’s medical records. In addition to already expensive care, the many necessary pages would have cost hundreds of dollars. These institutional flaws spurred Holliday to try to improve care for her husband as well as all patients who are abused in this way. As a result, Fred’s death inspired Holliday to use painting as a catalyst for change.

With her passion for advocating for patients to receive timely access to their health care data, her artwork became part of the national healthcare debate. Reported on in the mainstream press, as well as reviewed by such journals as BMJ and APA, Holliday has earned a platform to push for legislation that would provide electronic healthcare records to patients. Continuing her advocacy through art, she also started the Walking Gallery movement, where more than 350 volunteer members don business suits or blazers with either their story or their loved one’s story painted on their backs to attend public meetings. The jackets, which were painted by Holliday or one of 42 artists, depict the story of a medical patient or an element of medical advocacy. The members of Walking Gallery attend medical conferences with a powerful visual story painted on their back which makes the feel of the meeting more human and less distanced. The paintings help to convey the fact that the people wearing them are living, breathing examples of lapses in health care, as opposed to just a statistical number.

In addition, Holliday is published author. The Walking Wall: 73 Cents to the Walking Gallery, her first work, is devoted to the stories that comprise her Walking Gallery campaign. Her latest book The Writing on the Wall (2015), a memoir, takes readers on an odyssey of abuse and empowerment.

Recently, Holiday was honored at the H.I.T. Men and Women Awards reception for her trailblazing vision and perseverance in advancing the adoption of health IT, innovation, and best practices to improve healthcare. On July 13, 2010, she was honored to represent the patient voice during the Meaningful Use Stage One Announcement. She appeared on stage with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, Don Berwick from CMS, and David Blumenthal from the ONC, and Regina Benjamin Surgeon General. In addition, she appeared in the Safety Leaders/Discovery Chanel documentary Surfing the Healthcare Tsunami and is part of the creative team working on SpeakerLink.org.

Backed by her own patient and caregiving experiences, Regina Holliday travels the globe heralding her message of patient empowerment and inclusion in healthcare decision making and offering guidance on crowd funding in healthcare. She fearlessly stands before officials and practitioners demanding a thoughtful dialog on the role patients play in their own healthcare.

During this conversation we talk about Regina’s journey into healthcare advocacy after the death of her husband, the role her art has played in her reaching health care providers and decision makers about her message, the birth of the Walking Gallery movement, the upcoming Cinderblock4 Patient Advocacy Conference in Grantsville, Maryland this month and advice for artists and creatives regarding getting involved with advocacy work.

Here’s an awesome video which describes the Walking Gallery below:

The Walking Gallery of Healthcare from Eidolon Films on Vimeo.

Learn more about and follow Regina and the Walking Gallery at the links below:

Blog: http://reginaholliday.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @ReginaHolliday

Instagram: @Regina_holliday

Walking Gallery Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingGalleryHC/

You can listen to episode 6 below.  You can find the Mindfully Creative podcast on Stitches, Google Play and Soundcloud.