Art program hopes to improve mental health

Art Mends is a program set up by Crystal Bridges to provide insight and an outlet for essential workers dealing with mental health during COVID-19. Crystal Bridges provided a free box of art supplies for those who signed up to go through a zoom session with an art instructor and a therapist. The zoom sessions are a way for essential workers to talk about what this time has been for them and how art can be a way to put those emotions onto paper.

Betsy Kryeziu, one of the artists with Art Mends as well as a teacher here at Har-Ber, led the group on the zoom through a session of putting down your emotions onto paper with the oil pastels, colored pencils, and paper provided by the program. 

“COVID is not a friendly virus,” Kryezio said. “Everybody has a different reaction. The unknown facts to it are really hard. Art Mends was developed around the idea of how can we give back to the essential workers in the community with ways of coping.”

Kryeziu feels passionate about the program’s success among essential workers and even students. 

“This helped me in the aspect of coming to terms with my emotions and how I’m really feeling,” senior, Deyna Muno said. “Coming to a point where not being okay is okay.”

The very purpose according to Kryeziu is reaching people’s emotions and allowing them to put it on paper.

“You don’t have to be an artist or even wanting to learn about art,” Kryeziu said. “In order to learn these skills that could really help your mind process and to let go.”

Art Mends is a program created to provide resources and an outlet for the essential workers in our community. Kryeziu envisions that Art Mends will allow people to find peace in the midst of the turmoil in this time during COVID-19. It has allowed Kryeziu to create advocacy for people in the community. Through personal experience, art has helped her through her own chaos.

“Art, I feel like saved my life so many times that it’s too many to count,” Kryeziu said.