Art Saves Lives | an exhibit by those with mental health challenges

Deadline April 28, 2018 at midnight

  • Exhibition May 22 – 26, 2018

What: The Arts Center (TAC) and Oregon State University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are seeking artwork for a pop-up show in May 2018, that is directed at furthering the dialogue on mental health. Part of the proceeds of the events will go to the charity organization Art With Impact (AWI).

Why:  1 in 4 college students suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder. In today’s fast paced, capricious, society, there is often a dearth of attention towards one’s own mental wellbeing.  Art is a very human, core element that can make the intangible visible. Arts’ inherent brevity and openness to interpretation can be appreciated on many levels, making it a felicitous conduit for captivating both a seasoned, and a new audience. Alone, it is a free form of intimate introspection, catharsis, and self-healing. Put on display, it is self-acceptance and admittance of vulnerability, with confidence a mark of growth. When enjoying another’s work, one can immediately resonate with it, striking elation only obtained from finding comfort in new interpretations of all too familiar thoughts.

TAC, AWI, and OSU CAPS are combining their efforts in an art exhibit for May Mental Health Awareness month that will help reduce the stigma, raise awareness, benefit charity, and start conversations surrounding mental health issues. We are hoping to provide a feeling that no one may be searching for, but find immense comfort when you’re here and relate complete strangers to increase the understanding of what it means to live or be affected by often misunderstood and stigmatized challenges.

Submissions: We are looking for art that expresses the complex emotions, experiences, and stories surrounding mental illness and its impact on individuals. Artists must live in Oregon and be age 15 or over. Submissions will be accepted digitally.


  • Those with experiences relating to mental illness
  • Adult and young adults (15+ years)
  • Currently resides in Oregon

Selection based on:

  • Does the work express/provoke emotion?
  • Does the work tell a story/experience?
  • The work’s capacity to further the discussion
  • Artistic accomplishment is not critical
  • Participants are responsible for delivery or shipping to and from The Arts Center

Submission directions:

  • Please fill in form below with all requested contact information
  • Submit up to 3 images with title, medium size, per submission
  • Include a brief description of your piece and how it relates to mental health
  • A short artist statement about yourself
  • Where you learn about this opportunity to submit work in this show
  • Limit one submission per person, up to three pieces per submission


About the Organizations Involved:

The Arts Center fosters creativity and engagement with the arts to inspire personal growth and community well-being. We believe that experiencing the arts is an essential element of a healthy, fulfilled life. Our goal is to create opportunities for individuals to experience creativity through the arts, by providing programs that enrich our community socially, culturally and through economic vitality. Exhibition, education, outreach programs, and our ArtShop, create these opportunities for people of all skill and learning levels to explore creativity. 

OSU & Counseling and Psychological Services – Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at OSU provides mental health counseling to students, and consultation, outreach and education to all OSU Community members. We do this in order to facilitate student’s academic success, mental health, and personal development, and promote a culture of positive mental health at OSU. CAPS is a local, national, and international leader in transforming mental health culture, and in shaping the next generation of mental health providers. We will cultivate optimal mental health in every person, and throughout OSU systems and policies.

Orange Media Network is a modern media network made up of 450+ students responsible for running a newspaper, three magazines, TV station, radio station, social media and digital strategy, marketing and sales.  Students are advised and mentored by industry professionals, experts and alumni.  Orange Media Network strives to lead college media by elevating diverse student voices through innovative and accessible hands-on media and leadership experiences that challenge views, build grit and engage the community.

Art With Impact – Art With Impact (AWI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote mental wellness by creating space for young people to learn and connect through art and media. They use short films created by filmmakers around the world to promote discussion around mental health issues at college and university campuses throughout the United States, facilitating workshops that help students connect, build empathy, and reduce stigma around mental illness. AWI is committed to a future where artists are revered as cultural icons of courage and change, enabling young people to communicate freely and fearlessly about their mental health. Because their work is so personal, powerful, and mission-driven, it is partnerships like this one that allow their organization to thrive.

Our thanks to our collaborators for making this exhibition project possible.