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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.
Date & Time
November 12, 2019January 24, 2020
Free; open to all. Please note our holiday visiting hours.
Gallery 235 at the Rubenstein Arts Center
2020 Campus Dr
Durham, NC 27705

This community exhibit of artwork by local artists is an invitation to contemplate mental health and wellness. Maintaining our mental health is a lifelong process that requires intentional effort reflecting both science and art.

The science of mental health refers to research about factors that generally contribute to improved well-being—such as exercise, consistent sleep, being in nature, engaging in enjoyable activities, and doing things that give us a sense of accomplishment.

The art of mental health is the individual process to determine which of these factors are important to our own unique sense of wellness. We continually experiment to learn what works as we strive to improve or maintain our emotional wellness.

The Art of Mental Health showcases visual art that highlights this active effort to create or maintain mental health and wellness. An open call for art highlighting mental health and wellness—with a specific focus on leveraging strengths, sources of resilience, or cultivating emotional well-being—yielded over forty submissions in a variety of mediums.

Exhibit curators—a team of clinical psychologists led by Melissa Miller—selected works that reveal the many unique and personal interpretations of the art of mental health.

Each piece is accompanied by a brief story in the artist’s own words. These narratives describe how the work (either the subject matter or the creative process) is tied to the artist’s active efforts toward wellness.

Featured image: Christine Hager-Braun’s fiber work, Wall of Depression, is complemented by a story about how quilting has helped her to break through the isolation and withdrawal that is characteristic of depression.

About the Curator

Melissa Miller is a psychologist by day and an artist by night. She earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and she worked at Duke University Medical Center from 2012-2019. Miller joined the team at the Triangle Area Psychology Clinic in August 2019, where she continues to promote mental health and wellness. She is an avid art collector and supporter, and creating and consuming art helps her to stay grounded, evoke creativity, feel fervent emotions, and connect with others. The Art of Mental Health is a synthesis of two things that she loves, and she is thrilled to share this with her community.

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