Frames of Mind Art Exhibition Debuts Mental Health Project

Ariana Howard ‘20 

Staff Writer

Painting by Adelle Patten ‘21, which is one of a series of paintings she submitted. Photo courtesy of Henry Stockwell ‘19. 

This Thursday, the Frames of Mind art exhibition, engineered by Henry Stockwell ’19, will be launched. The Frames of Mind project is about the intersection between mental health and art. 

The exhibition was first presented two years ago by the Davidson Health Advisors, who wanted to use art as a means for expressing mental health. The artwork was displayed in the Union for all to see. 

This year, Stockwell explains, both the presentation and the purpose of Frames of Mind is quite different. The exhibition will now be digital, as the artwork will be displayed on a website designed by Stockwell. Additionally, instead of having all the artwork be directly about mental health, the exhibition this year is more broadly “an exhibition of creative people.” Stockwell explains that although this year’s Frames of Mind exhibition is structured differently than it was two years ago, both exhibitions are “designed to create a tangible conversation about mental health on campus.”

Since he arrived at Davidson, Stockwell has been deeply involved in promoting mental health. He has been a Health Advisor in the Health Education Office with Georgia Ringle since the spring of freshman year. One of the main roles as a Health Advisor is to create health and wellness mindfulness outlets on campus. The Frames of Mind exhibition was inspired by this mission.

“I really like the Frames of Mind project because it allows students to express inner thoughts and their creativity in a way that we normally don’t showcase. What we’ve seen from the past is that a lot of students relate to each other’s work and it’s not something in our day-to-day lives that we normally expose, but it is a really important piece of who we are,” said Ringle. 

To create the exhibit, Stockwell collected creative works from Davidson students that showcase the different ways students take time out of their busy lives to produce something creative. “Hopefully younger Davidson students will see this exhibition and want to do the same,” said Stockwell. 

In addition to presenting students’ works of art, Stockwell will interview each student about how they use creativity as an outlet for managing stress and anxiety and improving one’s “day-to-day existence.” Stockwell believes the link between art and mental health is that the act of being creative gives many people meaning in their lives. “I see a lot of students who don’t carve out free time to do stuff that they care about just for themselves,” explains Stockwell. 

Because Stockwell has combined art and mental health in his exhibition, he believes that the interviews displayed next to the artwork will be the most meaningful aspect of the project. The interviews will be about what it means to be creative in an often rushed and hectic Davidson environment. Ultimately, these interviews provide insight into students’ “Frames of Mind [regarding] the Davidson experience,” Stockwell explains.

The website will display each artist’s work on a separate page. Each page will also include  their interview and a brief biography. The landing page will be pictures of all of the artists who have contributed to the project. 

A total of ten artists contributed to the exhibition. Stockwell primarily received submissions by reaching out to fellow health advisors, the art departments on campus, and the English department. Stockwell reached out to different departments and spaces in order to receive a sufficient mix of creative writing, visual art, and music. This year’s artwork includes memoirs, poetry, original music, paintings, and creative writing. Stockwell not only created the website, conducted the interviews, and wrote about the mission of the project for the website, but he is also planning on submitting a piece of his own.

The Frames of Mind exhibit is funded by the Student Spike! Grant. Founded by Friends of the Arts, the Student Spike! Grant provides Davidson students the opportunity to pursue any type of extracurricular art project. Just like the mission of Stockwell’s Frames of Mind exhibition, the Student Spike! Grant promotes the use of art and creativity in order to enrich students’ lives and the campus as a whole. The funding for this project will continue for an entire year.

Stockwell hopes that in the same way he was inspired when he was a sophomore by the Frames of Mind exhibition in the Union, a student will be just as inspired by his exhibition and choose to continue the project. Stockwell said, “I don’t think this was a perfectly done thing, nor was the first one perfect, but the first exhibit did inspire me to pursue this project, so that’s pretty cool. I am hoping a couple of people who see [the exhibit] will be inspired to do something like this down the road.” 

The website will be launched on Thursday through this link: https://framesofmind.squarespace.com/ 

Comments are closed.