I hosted 2 gallery talks this past Monday at the Brown/RISD Hillel Gallery about my solo exhibition “Sinking”: I did a talk in the morning for my RISD freshman drawing class, and another that afternoon for the general public and Tony Janello’s RISD sophomore illustration drawing class. The gallery talk helped stimulate discussion about the content behind the portraits in a way that the opening reception could not.
Since I did the gallery talk, I’ve had a number of people approach me individually about their own experiences with depression which I’ve found very meaningful and poignant. It’s the first time in my experience as an artist that people have genuinely connected to the work on such a personal level. At the gallery talk, we discussed the fact that depression and the emotions associated with it are very much a private experience, one that happens behind closed doors. The fact that people were willing to reveal that private side of themselves to me due to the artwork was very powerful and important to me.