Neuro Blooms: Making Mental Health Visible

October 17, 2022

Art has the power to heal, connect, and illuminate. Artist Leslie Holt’s Neuro Blooms Project seeks to do just that. The community art exhibition, which runs through October 31, makes mental health conditions visible and beautiful by transforming brain scans into captivating “maps” of complex electrical activity. These Neuro Blooms appear as giant decals of colorful PET brain scans in Cherokee Street storefront windows. Each display is accompanied by a QR code that provides information (in English and Spanish) about the images, the project, and mental health resources listed on the artist’s website.

The project encourages curiosity and addresses the stigmatization that can surround mental health conditions, which causes isolation, discrimination, and peoples’ reluctance to seek support for treatable conditions. The Neuro Blooms act as an approachable conversation starter, helping to dispel damaging myths and promote better understanding of the struggles and unique offerings of neurodiverse people.

As part of the larger exhibition on Cherokee Street storefronts, Holt facilitated various workshops with partners like Peter and Paul Community Services.

“As a jumping-off point, we reflected on what words we might say to comfort someone who is in the midst of experiencing difficult emotions or perceptions stemming from their mental health condition,” said Holt. “We talked about mental health and shared stories while doing simple stitching on canvas pieces.” The resulting art pieces will be displayed at Red Chair Studios through December for public viewing.

The Regional Arts Commission is a proud supporter of The Neuro Blooms Project.