feature: interdisciplinary artist shanina dionna’s ’embryo v’ exhibition raises mental health awareness for inner city youth
By Eye Candy
February 8, 2016
My name is Shanina Dionna. I am a Philadelphia-based Interdisciplinary Artist, non-profit Youth Arts Instructor and an aspiring Mental Health Awareness activist. This March I will present the fifth installment to the ‘Embryo’ exhibition series due to commence March 5, 2016.
By Shanina Dionna*, AFROPUNK contributor
Driven by personal testimony, “Embryo V” began as merely a way to experiment with my voice to the world. Since March 2012, the exhibition series has grown and helped it’s viewers witness their own hidden strengths and courageous voices. No way did I expect to witness it yield such beautiful fruit. I took what burdened me (ie. depression, suicidal thoughts, neurotic perfectionism, insecurity, self-hate) and turned it into beautiful art; imperfect in its aesthetic because that is how I viewed myself. And at least, the Art could be beautiful – accepted without having to impede upon my desire to physically keep quiet. Today, I credit these works to be my brave side. They express visually what I would not otherwise have the courage to express verbally. I thank my Lord and Savior, my siblings, loved ones and these works of art for saving my life. Without these, I am not whom I know I have been called to be.
The fifth installment of “Embryo V” is due to commence March 5, 2016 in Philadelphia. (flyer provided in initial email) This year, “Embryo V” will serve as a platform to help raise Mental Health Awareness and expose inner city youth to the Visual and Performing Arts with support from the Urban Art Gallery of Philadelphia 501(c)(3) and the Philadelphia Business and Technology Center. The exhibition has more recently gained the support and interest from Fox 29 Philly’s “Good Day” show with Mike Jerrick & Alex Holley and the Belmont Behavioral Hospital.
My goal is to simply pay it forward what’s aided in my healing. I aspire to continue sharing these testimonials and creating opportunities for testimonial art workshops, seminars and creative events in hopes to provide more avenues of healing for our communities.
Journey to “Embryo V”: A Testimony by Shanina Dionna (ep 1)
*My name is Shanina Dionna. I am a Philadelphia-based Interdisciplinary Artist, non-profit Youth Arts Instructor and an aspiring Mental Health Awareness activist.
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