Artists paint mural in Monroe to focus on mental health

MONROE, La. (AP) — A local artist group is bringing awareness to mental health, and beautifying a corner of downtown Monroe at the same time.

Members of the Black Creative Circle of Northeast Louisiana painted a mural as part of the Northeast Delta Human Authority Services’ “Rise Above Stigma” initiative.

The Mental Health Mural is on the wall of the Outside Gallery, facing the front of N. 2nd Street, in Monroe’s Art Alley. The mural’s design is abstract, incorporating colors of the Northeast Delta HSA — purple, red, yellow and orange — and features the organization’s eagle symbol.

The Rise Above It Stigma initiative is aimed to help increase access to behavioral health services, provide mental health awareness, and increase culturally and linguistically appropriate training for people living in northeast Louisiana.

The Northeast Delta HSA serves citizens with mental health issues, addictive disorders and developmental disabilities in the following parishes: Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Ouachita, Lincoln, Madison, Franklin, Morehouse, Jackson, Tensas, Richland and Union.

Brandon Virgil, vice-president of the Black Creative Circle, said the mural and collaboration with the Northeast Delta HSA stemmed from a conversation among the artist group.

“The message we were trying to send is, people can connect and come up with whatever problem-solving tools and anything you need to rise above the sigma (of mental illness),” Virgil said.

The group has also painted murals addressing mental health in Grambling and Lake Providence.

Earlier this month, the groups hosted a reveal for the mural at an art gallery in Art Alley, featuring appearances from Monroe City municipal officials Carday Marshall and Kelsea McCrary and spoken word artists.

“As we know, public art is much more than paint on the wall,” McCrary said. “We know that art has that certain something that’s hard to put words to, but that means that its level of importance is more than we can identify. Murals not only provide community identity, it provides place for community expression. They provide place for feeling, not just for the wall that they restore but also for the community that they are painting it in.”

#Artists #paint #mural #Monroe #focus #mental #health

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.