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Avivo ArtWorks

Avivo ArtWorks supports artists living with mental illness as they create art, build community, and fight stigma around mental illness. Through a community-focused and recovery-based approach, ArtWorks offers a multi-faceted art studio and programming that help artists set and reach their professional goals. Goals include making new art, connecting with other artists, and accessing exhibition and grant opportunities. The program also organizes projects to achieve its mission – to challenge stigma and raise mental health awareness. The program is located in Minneapolis and is part of Avivo’s community support program (CSP).

Avivo ArtWorks has three components:

  1. Open Studio And Activities

    We offer art-based, wellness-focused services to all members of our Avivo Community Support Program-Minneapolis, which specializes in serving adults living with serious and persistent mental illness. The program’s art studio is open to CSP members at specified times during the week, usually early and late afternoons, for two to three hours. Our Open Studio hours are Mondays and Thursdays 12:30-4:15PM and Fridays 11AM-1PM.

    Members use the studio space to create new artwork and socialize with other artists. Members may also participate in other programming such as art workshops, activities, specialized peer support, and outings.

  2. Personalized Career Support

    In addition to studio time, Avivo ArtWorks offers career support for artists. Staff members get to know you, your work, and assist with setting goals and/or develop your artistic voice. This includes writing an artist resume, statement, and artist’s bio. We also help with applying for grants and exhibitions and developing an online presence.

  3. The Collective

    Avivo ArtWorks supports dedicated artists who are committed to strengthening their professional artist skills and goals. They organize as Avivo ArtWorks Collective to create art in community and challenge stigmas related to mental illness. Collective members are actively engaged in the local arts community in addition to exhibiting their work. Collective members are established based on an application process.

    Learn more about The Collective, benefits, and upcoming exhibitions and events.

  4. Events and Exhibitions

    ArtWorks organizes projects and exhibitions that challenge stigma and raise mental health awareness. Past partners include Hennepin County Medical Center, Soo Visual Arts Center, Augsburg College, Solar Arts Building, Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.



    Current public exhibitions:

    To Really See: Exploring the Medication-Taking Experience

    Art by Sam Larom

    Avivo is proud to announce that the traveling exhibition To Really See: Exploring the Medication-Taking Experience has opened with the University of Minnesota at the Bio-Medical Library (located on the East Bank campus). To Really See was initially hosted by Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central (August – September 2017). This run with the University of Minnesota presents over thirty pieces of art.
    Public Reception:
    Thursday, Feb. 1
    5:30 – 7:30 PM
    6 PM Artist Talk Location:
    Bio-Medical Library – 2nd Floor 
    505 Essex St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
    The Bio-Medical Library is located at the University of Minnesoa, Twin Cities East Bank Campus in Diehl Hall. For the event, it is recommended to park in the Washington Ave Ramp and take the Tunnel to Diehl Hall. You will enter the Bio-Medical Library and the exhibit directly by using the tunnel system. https://hsl.lib.umn.edu/biomed

    Exhibition Dates: December 21, 2017 – April 30, 2018
    The exhibition is a project curated by Jes Reyes, the Coordinator of Avivo’s ArtWorks program, and co-organized by Paul Ranelli, a Professor of Social Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Both met at the 2016 Minnesota Public Health Association annual meeting. Ranelli was inspired to create a photography exhibition that invited medication users to tell their story through a specific medium and how medications impacted their life. After he met Reyes and described his project idea, they became immediate partners. As they worked together, the project grew from a community arts Photovoice activity to an expanded display of diverse art mediums that spoke to the medication taking experience, with a focus on the role psychiatric medications play in our lives. “The goal is to articulate visually the importance of medications, including those prescribed for mental health, and the relevance of such medications in our lives,” Ranelli indicates about the show’s potential impact. “Medication use is embedded in society and hence is involved in value conflicts, social and economic power relationships, and various forms of cultural expression. The arts relate to and create culture, challenge thoughts and values, and foster social transformation,” he continues.

    Exhibition partners include Genoa, University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, and Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, St. Luke’s Hospital. The exhibition is partially funded by the University of Minnesota’s Imagine Fund.

    Exhibiting Artists:

    Jennifer N. Campbell
    Teresa Audet
    Jess Ward
    Kate Clark
    Roger Williamson
    Gary R. Melquist
    Douglas Blue
    Holly Rapoport
    Sam Larom
    John Casey
    Heather Spielman
    Anne South
    Christi Furnas
    Andrew Braunberger
    Kandace Krause
    Michaela Rachor
    Cecile Bellamy
    Peter F. Hinze
    Ashley Adams
    Shining Starr
    Julia C. Spencer
    Photovoice participants

    Exploring Waters

    David Morris, The Colors of the Ocean, Acrylic on Canvas
    Exploring Waters features work that is interested in various scenes, landscapes, and abstract patterns that are found in the nature of water. The art presented in this show is from the Avivo ArtWorks Collective, which is a group of professional artists committed to supporting each other in art and recovery.

    Exhibition Dates: February 5- 2018

    Park Square Theatre

    Historic Hamm Building
    20 West 7th Place
    Saint Paul, MN 55102

    The show is paired with the theatre’s presentation of The Pirates of Penzance. Get your tickets today! Ticket Office 651.291.7005  or online.

    Exhibiting Artists:

    Ashely Adams

    Martha Bird

    Andrew Braunberger

    Peter F. Hinze

    Kandace Krause

    David Morris

    Michaela Rachor


    Shining Starr


    Wallace R. White

    We want to thank the Park Square Theatre for their support.
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