Monday, September 11, 2017

ArtWorks Artist Spotlight - Martha Bird

To Really See - Martha Bird from Spectrum ArtWorks on Vimeo.

View our latest Artist Spotlight interview with ArtWorks Collective Member Martha Bird. She speaks specifically to two works of art that have been important to her recent experiences with taking medications. Bird also discloses how she has made a commitment to talking about mental health and challenging stigma.

"To Really See" initially presents with the Hennepin County Library’s Minneapolis Central location (August-September 2017), then at St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth (October 2017-April 2018) and then with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (December-April 2018).

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ArtWorks Artist Spotlight - Jess Ward

There are many methods for expressing and exploring health related events through art. The results often create compelling and people-centered objects or experiences. Attempts have been made using media, such as puppetry, theatre, songs or games. Photography and other visual art are also used to make subjects on health meaningful and healing for the person and interesting and educational for the public and the professionals who serve the public. Through a community-focused art project and traveling exhibit, "To Really See," captures these approaches and focuses on the display of creative medication use stories that users, artists, and participants wanted to express and share. This video presentation features an interview with Jess Ward, a local artist exhibiting three pieces in the show.
Jess Ward - To Really See from Spectrum ArtWorks on Vimeo.

"To Really See" initially presents with the Hennepin County Library’s Minneapolis Central location (August-September 2017), then at St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth (October 2017-April 2018) and then with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (December-April 2018).

Other exhibiting artists:
Teresa Audet (Minneapolis)
Douglas Blue (Minneapolis)
Jennifer N. Campbell (St. Paul)
John Casey III (Bloomington)
Kate Clark (Minneapolis)
Sam Larom (Minneapolis)
Gary Melquist (Minneapolis)
Holly Rapoport (River Falls)
Anne South (Minneapolis)
Heather Spielman (Minneapolis)
KaTa (Minneapolis)
Roger Williamson (Minneapolis)
Spectrum ArtWorks Collective Artists:
Ashley Adams
Cecile Bellamy
Martha Bird
Andrew Braunberger
Peter F. Hinze
Kandace Krause
Michaela Rachor
James E. Sjolin
Shining Starr
Wallace White
Julia C. Spencer

ArtWorks Photovoice Participants

Christi Furnas
Jes Reyes

Next exhibition event:
Closing Night Panel Discussion: Wednesday, September 27 / 6pm
Presented by Spectrum ArtWorks (soon to be Avivo ArtWorks), the exhibit “To Really See” in Cargill Hall explores medication use stories. Through artwork and accompanying events, the show works to raise awareness and challenge mental health stigma regarding the medication-taking experience. Celebrate the closing of the exhibition with this panel discussion moderated by Syl Jones (Hennepin County Medical Center), which will reflect on the artwork in the exhibition and engage multiple perspectives in conversation about mental health and medication use. Panelists include Paul Ranelli (University of Minnesota), Marilyn Dornfeld (NAMI MN), Dr. Reba Peoples (RESOURCE), Christi Furnas (RESOURCE/Exhibiting artist), Martha Bird (Exhibiting Artist), and Holly Rapoport (Exhibiting Artist).

Exhibition partners: RESOURCE/Avivo, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Hennepin County Library, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Genoa. This exhibition is partially funded through the University of Minnesota’s Imagine Fund. /

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ArtWorks now accepting poster contest submissions - must be a RESOURCE/Avivo participant to enter

ArtWorks is now accepting submissions for our 2nd Annual “I’m Worth It” Poster Contest! Your new artwork should creatively visualize how living free of commercial tobacco can help everyone breathe well. Show the community the impact living tobacco-free can have on your life, those around you, and the air we all breathe. You must be a RESOURCE/Avivo participant to enter.

RESOURCE/Avivo is committed to improving the health and well-being for the people we serve and the staff who work here by embedding wellness into our organizational culture. 

One step we will take is to spend the next year preparing to become a tobacco-free organization on July 30, 2018.  This poster contest will help inspire our communities to think about the impacts of smoking and the benefits of tobacco-free environments through a participant poster contest.  The deadline to enter the contest is Friday, October 6th at 3 PM. Email Jes Reyes at to collect submission materials. Art can be no bigger than 11x14 and no smaller than 5x7. All work must be flat and on paper. Images must be positive and uplifting.

Why a poster contest?
Poster contests provide educational opportunities for individuals to express their personal voice and convey their ideas regarding social, health, or cultural issues. The competitive nature of contests offers an incentive and chance to be recognized for their creative and meaningful contributions. Organizing a poster contest invites us to think about the given topic, aims to create conversation, and ultimately raises awareness.
*Tobacco refers specifically to the use of manufactured, commercial tobacco products, and not to the sacred, medicinal and traditional use of tobacco by American Indians and other groups.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Spectrum ArtWorks is changing its name!

Our new name is coming soon: Avivo ArtWorks

Did you know that RESOURCE is changing its name? Beginning this October the organization will be known as Avivo. This name change affects all of RESOURCE’S previous and current divisions, including Spectrum ArtWorks. The program will transition to its new name Avivo ArtWorks over the next month.

Peter, a Collective Member, working on City Life
Why the new name?

Our new name reflects our holistic work and wellness focus. Vivo means life. Avivo celebrates life and honors every person’s unique journey. It evokes a sense of achievement and promise and envisions a world free from economic and health disparities. Avivo’s “I” is our participant, surrounded by community. We know that this is a positive change!

Kandace, a Collective Member, working on the White Buffalo
Services and program activities are not changing, just our name is. If you have questions, please talk with Jes by emailing her at or by phone at (612) 752-8282.
Our new Avivo Logo
We will have special studio activities for studio members in September to honor our history as Spectrum ArtWorks and celebrate our new future as Avivo ArtWorks.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Interview with To Really See Artist Holly Rapoport

For the first time ever, Spectrum ArtWorks opened a call for art to the public with our show To Really See, a partnership with University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy's Paul Ranelli. We received many submissions from individuals who wanted to share their perspectives on medications. Each experience offered is unique and expands upon the work that Spectrum ArtWorks aims to achieve: creating art, building community, and fighting stigma.

Holly Rapoport, HMR01

We will be featuring artists from the exhibit through various media forms; from blog interviews, a special publication, events, and a short video profiling art from the exhibition. Our first interview is with artist Holly Rapoport. We are showing two works from Holly that explore her experience with medications while living with a mental illness.

Holly, who are you? Tell us more about where you come from? Have you always been an artist?

I'm a radical number, full of wonder and dedication. I come from a strong mother, and a small town. I have always been an artist, from creative child to skilled adult.

Your artwork explores self-exploration and utilizes artmaking as a form of therapy. Can you explain that a bit more and why you find art and making art has been important to your process as an artist and as a person experiencing mental illness?

Making art serves as a type of meditation. Printmaking, drawing, and bookbinding are all laborious, tedious, and detail oriented practices revolving around a strict order of operations. When I’m working there is no room or time to think about anything else, only measurements and alignment. Working in self-portraiture forces me to look at myself, not from a mirrored angle but from the view-point of another person. Creating myself as I am and not as I see myself helps ground me in reality.

To Really See is a show about challenging stigma, particularly around taking medications. Your artwork fits well within the theme of the exhibition. Can you tell us more about the art you are showing? How it fits within challenging stigma? What do you want your viewer to gain from your pieces?

There is this bizarre idea that if someone needs medications that they should hide it, that it is something to be ashamed of. I whole-heartedly disagree with this notion. My illness and medications are a part of who I am. I want the viewer to know that they are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to taking care of yourself.

The etching technique in your artwork is unique. It is expressive and textural. What brought you to this medium?

In high school I was a screen-printing apprentice in my home town. Years later when I began studying at UW River Falls I took an introductory Printmaking course and that was it for me. My etching style is reminiscent of my older drawing style, using crosshatching to create gradation. So I was naturally drawn to etching, as the mark-making is so similar to traditional drawing.

Are you working on anything new right now?

I am currently working on two collections of hand-bound books. “Little Black Books” is a collection of black-on-black Coptic bound books. I am also working on “Ghost Tomes,” a collaboration with my colleague Ashley Andrews in which I use her monotype ghost prints as covers for small Coptic books.

Holly Rapoport, Ghost Tome

Holly Rapoport, Black Books

Are there any other local artists that inspire you or that you are interested in?

I find that I am most inspired by fellow artists at UW River Falls. We have an incredibly supportive community. Everyone works so hard and that pushes me to always try and make better work.

Just a fun question here: If you were to given the choice to create art on either paper or canvas, which one would you select? Why?

Paper! Any day! It has been such an integral part of my life, from childhood until now. Everything I do artistically revolves around paper and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

All images courtesy of the artist. Interview by Jes Reyes.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Interview with Jes Reyes and Paul Ranelli, Partners on To Really See

MinnPost interviews Jes Reyes and Paul Ranelli to promote Spectrum ArtWorks upcoming exhibition To Really See, a group art show opening next week! Read more here!

Holly Rapoport, HRM01