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Artwork by Laurel Clark

Our next featured artist is Laurel Clark. She like others, is someone that has experienced trauma related to a family member that was not only mentally ill, but also had a co-occurring substance use disorder. She further explains how artwork was helpful in managing her thoughts/emotions below.

“My parent was an addict, but she also was severely mentally ill, coming from a cycle of severe abuse. The things I experienced will haunt me forever. I use art as an outlet to purge myself of the horrible thoughts, to re-ground with my experiences, and create something tangible out of the intangible turmoil and trauma I sift through within my mind, offering a glimpse of perspective as well as visceral reaction that is far too real for survivors alike. Not only is the goal of my art to showcase the morbidity, callous, and horror of being at mercy of others. But to start a conversation around these difficult topics, and also show that there is a way to convert this negative energy into something net positive for your life and well-being.”

The following is a slideshow and matching gallery of 11 pieces of her artwork along with titles and descriptions. 

By Brian Belt

Executive Director of Mental Health Awareness and Creative Arts Gallery INC

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