Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“WHAT’S LEFT: LIVES TOUCHED BY SUICIDE” at the Edge Center Gallery


Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork Minnesota is presenting the exhibition “What’s Left: Lives Touched by Suicide” from September 29 to October 29.  Even in such a sparsely populated area, there are few Edge of the Wilderness residents who are not affected in some way by the sorrow related to suicide.This exhibit is a traveling exhibit with a goal of reducing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness and raising awareness about mental health recovery and suicide prevention. The exhibit will be on display September 29 until October 29. The opening Reception is September 30 from 5PM to 7PM. The Gallery hours are from 10AM to 4PM on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays and during theater performances.

It has been shown at MacRostie Gallery in Grand Rapids, Red Lake Nation College, Hibbing Community College, American Indian Community Housing Organization in Duluth, Greenway High School in Coleraine, Rochester Civic Theater, and Watermark Art Center in Bemidji.  It will continue on to Park Rapids, Minnesota, Owatonna, and Bethlehem Lutheran Churches in Minneapolis and Minnetonka.


The Edge Center is possibly the closest place for you to experience this powerful, moving, and healing multimedia exhibit.

Suicide and mental illness are major health problems that affect everyone. The topic is often viewed as taboo, and family members left behind 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.


The project originated with Grand Rapids, Minnesota, 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,” said Bauer.  “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. Not in whispers or disrespectful laughter.


We need a culture shift where we all take responsibility for addressing the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. That burden should not be on me and my family alone, nor should it fall to other families who have come before or after us.”


Over 45 of Minnesota’s finest artists working in painting, poetry, sculpture, graffiti, glass, fiber, photography, and more have contributed artwork to the project. Audience members of What’s Left will also have the chance to listen to an interactive audio installation of stories from survivors.


What’s Left is a traveling exhibit with a goal of reducing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness and raising awareness about mental health recovery and suicide prevention. 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.  The Edge Center Gallery is working with the Bigfork School to increase awareness of suicide prevention even in such a small rural community.


This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature’s general and arts and cultural heritage funds. Additional funding is provided by the Blandin Foundation, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, Miller-Dwan Foundation, Northland Foundation, Northern Itasca Electric Company Round-Up Grant and many private donors.


The Edge Center is next to the Bigfork School.  The Gallery hours are from 10AM to 4PM on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays and during theater performances.  The exhibit “WHAT’S LEFT: LIVES TOUCHED BY SUICIDE” is in the Edge Center Gallery, next to the Bigfork School, from September 29 to October 29. The Opening Reception is Friday, September 30 from 5-7 pm.


1 comment:

  1. Amazing post!! Seriously loved to stop by your blog. It reminded of my visit to a great exhibition at one of Chicago event space where got to see amazing and incredible work. Really feeling glad to see such great work there.

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