Local Artist Work Selected for State Show

Artwork by Traverse City resident Robert J. Morey has been selected for inclusion in the statewide “Creative Minds Changing Minds” traveling art show. Morey’s collage featuring faces and eyes will be one of thirty-five pieces in the show sponsored by the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards (MACMHB), and will represent the six counties of northern Michigan served by Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH).

Morey will receive a $100 prize in addition to the honor of being selected.

According to MACMHB Executive Director Michael Vizena, the goals of the show are to help destigmatize mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use issues by showcasing the multi-dimensionality of people who use community mental health services and to highlight the recovery potential of the arts.

“Art, for me, is an expression of what life, death, relations, isolation, and stagnation is and/or means to me in a variety of instances. Drawing is my most practiced medium. My goal is to be able to draw a noise or a mood without anyone focusing on specific objects. Social functions are my favorite theme,” said Morey.

The traveling art show will begin its two-year schedule at the MACMHB spring conference in Dearborn on May 17-19, 2010. The show will then be publicly presented at various venues around the rest of the state through 2012.

At the end of two years, the artwork will be auctioned and the proceeds will be used in other efforts to increase awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and developmental disabilities. “We hope the overall effect will be to alleviate stigma and normalize help seeking behaviors throughout Michigan,” according to Vizena.

Three representatives from the Cadillac Arts Council served as judges in choosing the artwork to represent the Northern Lakes CMH service area. They were Phyllis Olson, member of the Cadillac Area Artists Association who is a lifelong artist and has been one of the organizers of the annual Cadillac Art Fair for most of 40 years; Dean Sandell, President of the Northern Michigan Art Guild who has education, training and work experience as a landscape architect and is also a painter/potter/photographer; and Jim Smith, Vice-President of the Cadillac Area Artists Association, who works in oils, acrylics, watercolor, and pencil.

The judges described Morey’s piece as “a fascinating emotion-filled work, with inquiring eyes that draw the viewer in – seeing, searching, looking back.”

Sandell indicated, “The process of making a piece of art was clearly in play for each artist.” He added, “The process of making art allows an opportunity create a new focus, think in a manner outside ordinary ways and give expression to our new or developing awareness.”

Cindy Petersen of Northern Lakes CMH said, “We are pleased to have representatives from the art community partner with us in selecting the piece to represent our area in the statewide show. We will be scheduling the show to come to Northern Michigan sometime during the next two years and look forward to the opportunity to showcase the work of Robert Morey and the other artists from around the state.”

If your organization is interested in hosting the traveling exhibit in northern Michigan, please contact Petersen at (231) 935-3099.