Mental Health America of Abilene hosts first art gala

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - Mental Health America of Abilene hosted a brand new event Sunday night. It's their first ever art gala, with the proceeds going to the MHAA and some earmarked to their partners in Houston.

MHAA Chair Britni Earnest says that she has "always wanted to have an event that merged art and mental health. I thought this was a great way to do that."

Nearly sixty local artists brought some of their most personal work, all of it relating to mental health, to this event.

Artist Natalie Lopez is one such artist, who says, "Art is my escape from reality. It's also a temporary fix. It's not the true fix to everything, but it is my escape. My art is more dark than positive, just because my mind is there right now."

For many artists, even deeply personal work like this is just what they do regularly.

Artist Calinda Mishay Johnson explains that personal works are "when you become an artist." She goes on to say that "When you leave your story in something that you do, when you leave your passion, when you leave a part of you in a piece that you make, that's when you're officially an artist."

This art helps those who may not always be able to help themselves. Earnest says that the proceeds from the event will help with MHAA operations. They "provide a lot of services to people in the community who cannot [otherwise] afford those services."

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