Watermark Art Center and Paul Bunyan Communications present the exhibition What’s Left: Lives Touched by Suicide from June 3 – July 21. This multimedia exhibit is a travelling group show created to encourage a proactive community dialogue about suicide and mental illness with a goal of reducing the stigma surrounding them. An opening reception will be held June 3rd from 5-7 p.m., with a brief presentation at 6 p.m. by show curator John Bauer and other guests.
Suicide and mental illness are major health problems that affect everyone. The topic is often viewed as taboo, and those impacted can feel stigmatized and unable to talk openly about their experience and grief. What’s Left provides a space for participating artists and the broader community to reflect on the impact of suicide and mental illness and explore the use of artistic expression in the process of grieving, healing, and expressing hope. Materials for resources and helplines will be available throughout the exhibit.
The project originated with Grand Rapids resident John Bauer, who lost his daughter
Megan to suicide in 2013. Bauer’s experience in the aftermath of his family’s tragedy is what sparked the idea for an art exhibit as a way to encourage community conversation.
“Whether on the phone or on the street, most people just didn’t know what to say to me,” Bauer recalled. “How could they if they haven’t been through something so horrific? To develop a vocabulary for talking about suicide, we have to be able to talk about mental illness as well.”
Over 45 Minnesota artists have contributed artwork to the project, working in mediums such as painting, poetry, sculpture, graffiti, glass, fiber, photography, and more.
What’s Left is a traveling exhibit on loan from the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, MN. The exhibit is designed to be displayed in a wide variety of settings, including community centers, art galleries, schools, and libraries and is available to travel to communities across the state through 2018.
Watermark would like to thank our sponsors, Paul Bunyan Communications and MacRostie Art Center, for helping us bring this exhibit to our community.