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Poetry Reading and Artist Talk at the Reach

Communitas Supportive Care Society hosted a Poetry Reading and Artist Talk at the Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford on Thursday, May 3rd at 7 pm.

The event celebrated the works of all those who contributed to the Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health exhibit that was on display at the Reach from March 6th until May 6th. The exhibit paired fourteen poets with fourteen artists. Each poet wrote a poem about their experience with mental illness and was then paired with an artist who interpreted that poem visually. Everyone who took part in the exhibit had some lived experience with mental illness.

Miya is one of fourteen poets who will be reading her poem on May 3rd

Miya Fontaine, poet, was paired with Judy Craig, artist. Miya has lived with mental health challenges since she was a teenager. Judy lives with an acquired brain injury she received as a result of concussion. Both see their art form as a way to give voice and expression to what is happening within them.

“Writing helps me to get things out and to process things in a healthy way,” Miya says.

Judy is thrilled with the opportunity to display her artwork at the Reach as part of Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health

It is a similar experience for Judy.

“Not only does art let me focus on something positive it enables me to achieve success,” she says.

At the Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, each poem was read aloud and the corresponding artist talked about how they interpreted the poem that they were given. Judy was not able to attend but her interpretation was read by the curator of the exhibit. Miya was grateful for the opportunity to read her poem and said that being part of the show has been a meaningful experience.

“I’m so proud of myself to follow through with this art and poetry show and to have had a piece on display there,” she says. “It’s been amazing.”

Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health exhibit was presented by Communitas Supportive Care Society and The Reach and was sponsored by Envision Financial and the Lohn Foundation.