REVISED Artist Citizen, Amy Jackson.jpgThis edition of the Mindfully Creative podcast focuses on the concept of the “Artist Citizen” and how one artist shows up to serve her community. Amy Jackson, a multi-media artist and creative based in Nashville, Tennessee is our guest.

Amy creates in the following art media: painting, photography, writing, and music. Her painting began in 1993, as a way to express herself, because she was experiencing chronic facial and jaw pain at the time. As the physical pain healed, her paintings became a way to explore emotions over the years, both the sublime and excruciating. Amy also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Spanish from Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Georgia,

Jackson knows that all artists seek to respond to the way they feel about the world around them. Amy was hugely inspired and intrigued by the subtropical natural world around her growing up in northwest Georgia. However, she also saw the blight of increasing development before she left home for college, and then in college learned of worldwide environmental threats as part of her studies in International Relations. For these reasons, she relates strongly to wild places on the Earth and seeks them out in her paintings and photographs, in the abstract and the representational.

She believes that all forms of matter contain some form of life, a typical perspective for a Buddhist such as herself. Her studies of Buddhism, creative visualization and meditation deepen this exploration of wonder and fascination, and she seeks a contemplative arts approach to all of her work, as a way of centering, editing, and transforming herself and her art.

It is these beliefs that guides her work in her Nashville communitiy by volunteering to bring art and creativity to local schools and community based organizations. We talk about her involvement in various endeavors to improve her neighborhood and her advice about how other artists and creatives can make a difference in their communities with their gifts as well.

You can learn more about Amy at You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @amyjacksoncc. Listen to this episode below.  The Mindfully Creative podcast can be heard on Google Play, Sound Cloud and Stitcher.


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.


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:


Cornerstone Montgomery:

Studio In-Sight:

Personal Visions Gallery:

Social Media:


Cornerstone Montgomery:

Studio In-Sight:


Studio In-Sight:


Cornerstone Montgomery:

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