Art Show Held in Recognition of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Month

The third annual event “Got Art” was hosted at the Museum of Science and Technology on Tuesday, May 7, to raise awareness of children’s mental illness.

The theme of the night was “I can…” Through paintings, designs, stand-up speeches and video-taped performances, children showed their talents, reclaimed their dreams and broke down the stigmas given to youth with special needs.

Information table set up during the event with a sign that reads: "Myth: People with mental illness are dangerous and should be locked away."

“The event reaches out for children ages 5 to 21 and lets them to express who they are,” said Carol Perry, community engagement specialist at OnCare. “For me, just seeing the young people with their faces lit up, seeing their expression and their art, to say, ‘I am who I am.’ To me, that’s our strong piece of faith.”

Art made by little ones’ hands to teens and young adults was displayed throughout the museum. During the showing, children and their families lined up for pizza and smoothies or to get their faces painted. Little kids ran around and played with the exhibits. Around 300 people flooded over the floors of the event, which was put on by Onondaga County System of Care, OnCare, a community-service organization serving children and youth with emotional and behavior challenges.

“It is not only a chance to exhibit the young people’s art, but also for families to have a fun event together,” said Linda Lopez, project director at OnCare.

Shirt designed by David.

David, 21, who only gave his first name and who was diagnosed with Asperger, came to the event wearing the T-shirt he designed. He designed the logos on the shirt with other residents at Elmcrest. Cartoon characters on the shirts are of different heroes.

“It is like a superhero stuff. The design represents what I want to do. Making a mission myself,” Louise said.

Daveon Johnson, 21, another artist displayed, made drawings on clothes.

“My aunt shows me how to do art. It is how I know how to do art,” Johnson said. He loves to draw figures, cars and different things.

Mike Lag, 13, came to the event with his dancing teammates and their agency Elmcrest, a community-based organization that tries to meet families and children’s needs. Lag and other nine Dubstep dancers practiced almost six weeks for the event.

“I like the event and get involved in it, because I can dance,” Lag said. “Dancing is very fun and very aesthetic thing that I love doing.”

 

 

– By Ruth Li, Graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications