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.
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.
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: http://www.cornerstonemontgomery.org/
Studio In-Sight: http://studioinsight.org/
Personal Visions Gallery: http://personalvisionsgallery.org/
Cornerstone Montgomery: https://www.facebook.com/CornerstoneMontgomery
Studio In-Sight: https://www.facebook.com/cornerstonemontgomerystudioinsight/
Studio In-Sight: https://www.instagram.com/s_insight/
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.