PRESENT The Journey
PRESENT is an ongoing city-wide, participatory and collaborative artwork building creative connections. In a series of mindfulness workshops we make art that we then turn into postcards to share.
PRESENT ARTIST STATEMENT
As an artist whose work has addressed individual
lead to mental illness and that with work, such
PRESENT with the St. Louis Truancy Initiative
Dr. Zorumski introduced me to Dr. Anne
and communal health for twenty years, I developed and Washington University for three specific
reasons. In 2016 I began regularly volunteering for the St. Louis Truancy Initiative by tutoring a
middle school girl. I came to realize that I was
working with her on her depression and anger management more than helping with her
schoolwork. In researching ways I could be of more help, I learned that chronic stress can be as
damaging as a single traumatic event. I tried to teach my student techniques she could use to cope with
her stress. I deepened my yoga practice and learned meditation techniques to both help my student and
myself as we worked through her pain. My research has led me to believe that until one achieves better mental health one cannot properly learn and that
we can not leave this vulnerable population behind. That year I also met Dr. Charles Zorumski, Head of Washington University Department of
Psychiatry, and read his book, “Demystifying
Psychiatry.” I learned how unmitigated trauma can
disorders can be treated. In support of PRESENT, Glowinski, Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University. We co-wrote a grant that was fully funded by Gephardt Institute for Civic and
Community Engagement for the pilot project.
While the children enrolled in the Truancy Initiative received much-needed services, there are many
more who lack mental health support, either due to lack of educational resources or awareness by their caretakers. It is my hope that the artistic, trauma-
informed self-care techniques we develop can help generate a curriculum that can be shared with all, and specifically the St. Louis school districts.
Because the overwhelming student population in St. Louis city schools is affected by poverty, crime and trauma, as noted by the St. Louis Mental Health
Board, such a program would help students both
gain access to art education and trauma-informed self-care.
-- Adrienne Outlaw
Our country in general and St. Louis in particular, is facing a major crisis in childhood mental health. This problem is compounded by divides along socio-cultural and racial lines with the highest risk children being at greatest risk of being lost. By focusing her art and efforts on children in the St. Louis City Family Court system along with their juvenile officers, Adrienne Outlaw is providing a much-needed effort to heal our local community. Her work is greatly appreciated and to be applauded as she unites several key sectors of the St. Louis community to draw attention to and to improve the outcomes of these children. — Charles Zorumski, Samuel B. Guze Professor and Head of Psychiatry at Washington University
PRESENT CONTENTS PRESENT ARTIST STATEMENT Inside Front Cover PRESENT STORY 2 - 10 TRULY PRESENT By Margaret Keller
PRESENT PARTICIPANTS 12 - 14 PRESENT POSTCARD COLLABORATIONS 15 - 66 PRESENT THANKS 67 PRESENT REASONS Inside Back Cover
June-August 2018, an average of 25 people, ages 6-65 from all socioeconomic backgrounds met weekly for a series of mindful artmaking workshops with Adrienne Outlaw and Dr. Anne Glowinski. Under Dr. Glowinski's leadership, faculty, fellows and students from Washington University joined community members to make art alongside community members and youth and the deputy juvenile officers with the Saint Louis City Family Court Truancy Initiative.
For each workshop, we set a beautiful table as a way to encourage participants to mindfully prepare for their art making session.
While our team is comprised of extensively trained professionals who may be very creative, our rationale for partnering with an artist is to develop new ways to creatively collaborate with the community. We recognize that art may well provide a more sociable, open-ended approach to addressing mental health and hope that this project will allow us to experience more creative methods of interaction. — Dr. Anne Glowinski, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education and Training at Washington University Department of Psychiatry
Workshops begin with yoga, proceed with artmaking and end with shared reflection. In our first sessions we breathed in, made bouquets with, felt textures of and drew pine branches and feathers.
I walked in this past Wednesday highly frustrated. The yoga was so relaxing and enjoyable that I felt good afterward and I was able to enjoy the kids and activities. One of the kids I brought had a very stressful morning. He repeatedly tried to get out of the car – was upset and crying. I knew PRESENT would help reduce his stress. He and his cousin both attend. They’ve lived a life of being in transition and are currently in a shelter. Stress-free fun is needed. — Joli Baker, MSW, LCSW, Truancy Initiative Supervisor, Saint Louis City Family Court – Juvenile Division
Participants enjoy stillness of yoga.
In the following session, we arranged, painted and drew rocks while meditating on stillness and flexibility.
Nitya paints with participants.
Sand on paper.
Saint Louis artist Andrea joins for a day.
I think the program is having a significant impact on our students, the children participants, and their deputy juvenile officers. Specifically, for our students, I think this experience provides them with an opportunity to meet and learn with and from people who likely have had a significantly different experience than they have had growing up or than that are experiencing now. This helps teach them to remember that their patients are individuals with diverse
Andrea's rock drawing.
Selection of rocks we painted to share with others.
and often unexpressed backgrounds. And yet, they are having this shared experience. I imagine the same is true for the kids and the officers, who have this opportunity to learn about both similarities and differences in their humanness. Overall, I believe such experiences teach people to be more respectful and kind, more open and responsive to others. When we get to know others, we see them as people, not as whatever label or stereotype we have given them. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; E v a A a g a a r d , M D S e n i o r A s s o c i a t e D e a n f o r E d u c a t i o n a t Wa s h i n g t o n U n i v e r s i t y
Washington University senior medical student Sirish Veligati led us in a meditation during which we held a single raisin in our mouths before chewing. We held, thumped, smelled, arranged, ate and drew our food.
Juan shares his drawing.
A buffet of choices!
Shannon shares her drawing.
Everyone has been given a chance to decompress. They are also getting exposed to others outside of the people they normally work with. I think that this have given the kids a chance just to sit and do activities normally they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t (i.e. too many video games/activities). It also gives them a chance during yoga to be relaxed and focus on one thing during the moment they are in. This type of environment gives a person opportunities to try something new if they choose.
â&#x20AC;&#x201D; David Vierzba, DJO, Deputy Juvenile Officer, Truancy Unit, Family Court-Juvenile Division
Nikeisha's postcard Shannon's postcard
Guest teaching artist Jessie Witte got PRESENT participants talking about and noting different types of seeds. They played with, arranged and glued them before drawing them. Seeds make beautiful postcards!
Zuzana's artwork pre-postcard.
A participant holds a seed work.
I participated in five workshops and they have been fantastic! At first, the kids at my table were a little shy about what to draw. They asked questions to make sure they were doing it “right.” I smiled and said there was no right way, they could do anything they wanted to do – and I then closed my eyes and drew! The kids were so curious about how I could draw with my eyes closed – it was a great ice-breaker. After that, the kids were very creative, and most were very prolific artists. After about 30 minutes, we each took a turn holding up one of our pictures and having everyone tell us what they saw in the picture. I was amazed at how insightful and creative the kids were!
Another highlight was watching (and helping) the kids make evergreen bouquets to take home.
The next workshop involved sand and stones. This time the kids at my table were not tentative at all – they jumped right in and made sand-and-stone sculptures, then started drawing. Again, I was impressed with how creative the kids were, and how happy, focused, and relaxed everyone was doing art.
After drawing, everyone painted the rocks – what a blast!
The third workshop used stones again since they were such a big hit. This time we started by holding up one of our favorite drawing from the [previous] workshops and having each person at our table tell us what they saw. Again, I was amazed at how insightful, confident, and creative the kids were with their critiques!
I think it’s a fantastic idea to start off each workshop doing yoga, using a soundtrack the kids (and adults) really enjoyed. It has been amazing, and so much fun, to watch the kids and deputy juvenile officers learn to trust what their bodies can do, to relax and listen to what is going on both “inside” and “outside” of themselves. — Deborah Dobson, PhD Research Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University
TRULY PRESENT A common thread runs through Adrienne Outlawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
factor for this project, along with the especially dire
her preference. Instead, she sees herself as a worker.
divides, and many traumatized individuals.
practice as an artist, although the term artist is not
The work consists of envisioning, creating, and then facilitating partnerships that consistently address
both individual and community health and healing. In her many notable social engagement projects,
Outlaw devises unique experiences and activities
sited at the intersection of art and self-realization
for those most in need of this. In this sense, each
project seems to serve as a therapeutic medium that simultaneously confirms, guides and consoles the public while increasing awareness and assisting a
community to imagine solutions. Most recently,
Outlawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s project PRESENT falls into this category.
With PRESENT, the motivation is to bring
attention and healing to a specific segment of the local St. Louis community: at-risk children and
their Deputy Juvenile Officers from the St. Louis
City Family Court Truancy Initiative joined with
Washington University Department of Psychiatry
Both children and adults were guided to self-care, relax, be present and aware, listen, share, and to explore
inspiring natural objects for their artistic expressions,
including uniquely shaped stones, tactile pine branches, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Artworks
created from this experience encapsulate and illustrate a sincere response.
To describe these images, words like uninhibited, free, loose, expressive, emotional, poignant, serene and
rhythmical come to mind. They range wildly, from
child-like to sophisticated, detailed to simplified, linear
to tonal, sparely modernist to minutely realistic, with all the drawings exhibiting a sense of self, a grounded-ness, the freedom to express, and a real connection to the world through careful visual observation. They are truly present.
faculty, fellows and students, plus community
And an unexpected gift will be the placement of
pictures throughout the area, with the hope of including
For this diverse group, Outlaw structured weekly
workshops focusing on mindfulness practices that
segued into art-making. Each session started with yoga, offered art making experiences, and then
ended with shared responses. The current major
crisis in childhood mental health was a motivating
situation in St. Louis, an area with poverty, crime, racial
postcard invitations -- free for the taking -- of these
more of the local community in this unique opportunity in the future.
Margaret Keller March 2019
We hope you enjoy this PRESENT! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of a city-wide, participatory artwork building creative connections.
Place Postage Here
An easy and fun way to participate is to
just send someone a
P RESE NT postcard!
April 2019 we will distribute thousands of postcards at stewarded locations throughout Saint Louis for you to find! For information about locations and how to get more involved see www.adrienneoutlaw.com/PRESENT.
PRESENT POSTCARD COLLABORATIONS Each of the following images, listed in alphabetical order by its creator, was produced in the summer 2018 artmaking workshops. Adrienne Outlaw collaborated with the participants to turn the drawings into postcards.
2018 PRESENT PARTICIPANTS Adrienne, Artist Collaborator
Jessy, DJO Participant
Alicia, Washington University Participant
Joli, DJO Participant
Andrea, Artist Participant
Juan, DJO Participant
Anne, Washington University Collaborator
Kevon, Youth Participant
Anthony, Youth Participant
Keredee, Community Participant
Ben, Youth Participant
Maggie, Washington University Participant
Casey, Youth Community Participant
Makayla, Youth Participant
Christopher, Community Participant
Margaret, Washington University Participant
Daiszey, Youth Participant Darrell, DJO Participant Dasha, Youth Participant David, DJO Participant Deasia, Youth Participant Deb, Washington University Participant Deborah, DJO Participant Destiny, Youth Participant Di, Community Participant Elijah, Youth Participant Emma, Youth Community Participant Erica, Washington University Participant Javonn, Youth Participant
Maya, Youth Participant Nikeisha, DJO Participant Nitya, Washington University Participant Ray, Youth Community Participant Reagan, Youth Community Participant Reuben, Community Participant Sammy, Youth Community Participant Shannon, Community Participant Sher, Yoga Instructor Sirish, Washington University Participant Steven, Youth Participant Taqi, Youth Participant
Jess, Artist Participant
Tasha, Washington University Participant
Jesse, Youth Participant
Zuzana, Washington University Participant
PRESENT THANKS This project would not have happened if the following people and places did not lend it significant support: Anne L. Glowinski, M.D., M.P.E. Professor of Psychiatry (Child) Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education and Training Associate Director, William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine Child Psychiatry Fellows and Students Washington University Charles Zorumski, MD Samuel B. Guze Professor of Psychiatry Head of the Department of Psychiatry Director, Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research Chair, Center for Brain Research in Mood Disorders Washington University School of Medicine Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement Washington University Joli Baker, MSW, LCSW Truancy Initiative Supervisor Family Court - Juvenile Division Saint Louis City Family Court Juvenile Division Truancy Initiative First Congregational Church ADDITIONAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING Richard Benkof Photographer Community Participants Margaret Keller Artist Writer Sher Nicholson Owner, Always Love Yoga Brigitte Northrop Fellowship Coordinator, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program, Assistant to Anne Glowinski, Washington University Jessie Witte Artist Guest Teacher
The Surgeon General reports that poor mental
PRESENT has been funded by the Gephardt
and that mental disorders are real, common and
Artist Adrienne Outlaw partnered with Dr. Anne
health significantly diminishes societal well-being treatable. The 2019 State of Mental Health in
America reveals that rates of severe depression
among youth are rising. 76% of these youth receive insufficient or no treatment, in part because
America has a shortage of mental health workers.
Missouri, where the PRESENT project is located, is among the states facing the biggest challenges as we have a higher rate of mental illness and fewer mental health care practitioners.
Mental health promotion is an area where social
practice artists can powerfully contribute. Heather Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel's report, “The
Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public
Health: A Review of Current Literature,” published 2010 in the American Journal for Public Health, found that mindfulness art therapy programs
incorporating drawing, yoga, and meditation reduce physical and emotional distress. Another report by
CR Graham et al, “Development and Evaluation of Innovative Peer-Led Physical Activity Programs
for Mental Health Service Users,” published 2017 in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, found that peer-led programs improve mental and physical health. The social practice project
PRESENT promotes mental health by creatively connecting people through mindful artmaking.
Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. Glowinski, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education and Training at the
Washington University Department of Psychiatry
to offer a creative series of mindfulness workshops for the St. Louis City Family Court Truancy
Initiative, which provides social services to truant children and their families. Dr. Glowinski is
partnering, in part because, she notes, “While our team is comprised of extensively trained
professionals who may be very creative, our
rationale for partnering with an artist is to develop new ways to creatively collaborate with the
community. We recognize that art may well provide a more sociable, open-ended approach to
addressing mental health and stigma and hope that this project will allow us to experience more creative methods of interaction.”
For three months we met weekly for two-hour
long, trauma-informed workshops that began with yoga, proceeded with mindful artmaking and concluded with shared reflection. We are
reproducing participants’ works in the form of
beautiful postcards, which we will share free-of-
charge at select, stewarded sites throughout Saint Louis, beginning April 2019.
The PRESENT pilot project was funded by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement with significant support from Anne Glowinski and Washington University in collaboration with Adrienne Outlaw. For more see www.adrienneoutlaw.com/PRESENT.