By Mending Art Artist, Jose Martinez

It’s April 15th 2022, World Art Day and just days after the Personaland opening at the Five Points Annex Gallery in downtown Torrington, CT, that I was invited to exhibit in. I was introduced to the Personaland, online global art village website, by MHC Mending Art Program at the Independent Center in Waterbury, CT, by Amy Smith, MHC Mending Art Coordinator. It was great timing because technology, at this point in time, is making it easier to express art related subjects.

To tell you the truth, this exhibit was very important to me, I found myself with other high caliber artist. I’m probably considered a mentally challenged person in most people’s minds, but for the very first time, in a long time, that was definitely not the case at the exhibit. We all understood each other clearly and spoke the same language. I was able to speak with other people that expressed themselves, not only with fancy pictures but on a very wide scale of things. I have never been nervous much about anything, however, that night I was. “There’s nothing to it, but to do it”. Right? With the help of others, I learned the valuable lesson of teamwork. As I looked around, I thought to myself and had visions of walls that where jam packed with artist telling their individual stories, surrounding Mental Health, together alongside other great Artists.

For my type of art, the exhibit was a truly amazing feeling because it’s designed for all ages, I felt a form of acceptance. In the little bit of time that I was at the gallery, I met all types of people. They asked me, “Why the cartoony comic book look?” Of course I explained that I chose it for a type of purpose, as art communicates in different forms. One gentleman, in the exhibit, not only painted an interesting canvas, but he added the sense of smell to it. Also, a young artist, I tried to help explore and share his art.

Framing and labeling my own drawings, for this exhibit, gave me a sense of “Being a part of”, and was teaching me other needed areas of art. It was a feeling of accomplishment, like, this moment was completely confirmed. This whole experience has opened more diverse and modern day subjects to express to me privately and for others. It definitely helped me learn not only about creating pictures, but also the other side of proper presentation of myself and many more important things that it takes to make it happen. Also, the respect for other successful artists that I can learn from and completely understanding their experience’s.

I ask anyone with a type of depression, anxiety, or the feelings of uncertainty (that is pretty well prominent in these times), to stop, take a bit of time and look inside yourself, the real you. Entertain your self-feelings. There are people dedicated to help you find a type of comfort at MHC. That night, of the exhibit, everyone was in a positive atmospheric level. It seemed like it didn’t even matter Who Was Who. Just pure enjoyment spreading itself around. ART is a form of communication. SO let’s COMMUNICATE.

And that, my friend, is a pretty sublime experience. Definitely one to grow on for me.  I deeply appreciate you and respect you all. Team work is the thing here. I tried my best and it was truly a learning experience for me. Thank You for your time.

-A Fellow Artist and Brother. Martinez

Learn more about Mending Art.

Check out the PersonaLand Exhibit

World Art Day, celebrated yearly on April 15, is an international celebration of the fine arts. It was declared by the International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP), a partner of UNESCO, to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide and promote international collaboration through art. How will you get creative today?