"Art has helped me become a happier, healthier person": Philadelphia Artist Kimberly Jackson

12741938_10156442415255618_6805246031405463249_nIn honor of First Friday, an exciting day once a month during which Philadelphia art galleries usually hold their opening receptions, we are pleased to highlight an artist who is changing the way we look at mental health. Kim Jackson's latest piece, Dissociation, hits the nail right on the head for so many people struggling with depression and anxiety. Her work not only gives its viewers a deeper understanding about the struggles of having a mental illness, but also demonstrates that these same negative emotions and thoughts CAN be used for positive social change by raising awareness.

Kim on Dissociation:


12717567_10156441443440618_8208616097191760753_nAs I prepared the piece and put everything together, I realized I have never vocalized some of these feelings before. I had never spoken those words out loud, and I had never allowed anyone to see those intimate moments. It was the most difficult project I have ever worked on, but in the end, it was the absolute most rewarding. By allowing myself to truly be the most vulnerable I have ever been in public, I allowed myself to experience the kindness of others. Each and every person who saw my piece expressed to me how they personally connected to the piece, and how they relate to anxiety and depression. So many people shared their struggles and it helped me heal in a way no one can ever imagine. It helped me realize that hiding your struggles only holds you back and prevents you from moving on. Now, I am honest and truthful to my friends about my state of mind, and I ask for help if I recognize I need it. Putting myself fully into my art, has helped me become a happier, healthier person, and I hope my art has helped others the same way.