Workman Arts’ annual Being Scene exhibition (March 4-28) is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and will showcase 80 artworks by artists living with mental health and addiction issues.

We are huge believers in using creativity to support mental health, inspire important conversations, and fight stigma, and this beloved exhibit succeeds in all three areas.

This year’s exhibition will be offered virtually and includes three exhibitions in one: a guest-curated exhibition of 11 commissioned artworks, and a juried exhibition of 60 artists, a retrospective exhibition honouring the 20th anniversary of Being Scene.

With the exhibition scheduled for exactly a year from when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the curated portion of Being Scene 2021 responds to the tumultuous past — and current — year. Yet rather than proposing a theme that orbits around the pandemic, guest curator Jacqueline Kok encourages us to think through the different ways in which we respond or have trouble responding to the many deep-rooted scars that have resurfaced as a result of the health crisis, as well as the fluctuating meanings of normality. 

Trinley Dorje, Adventure Into Eternity

To Speak Without Speaking, the exhibition curated by Kok, will feature new artwork by Workman artists Mei Chan-Long, Jenny Chen, claro cosco, Heather Fulton, Eduardo Hatch, Rick Miller, David Constantino Salazar, Laura Shintani, Apanaki Temitayo, V Vallières, and claude wittmann that illustrate the many individual experiences of this global trauma.

Being Scene also includes an impressive lineup of FREE events: Mental Health Check-In for Artists and Arts Workers: Adjusting to the New Normal; Panel Discussion — Moving Forward: 2020-2030 Public Art Strategy; Grant Writing: From Ideation to Implementation are a few examples what’s being offered, intended to support artists emotionally, financially, and through community connection. All of which relate to mental health!

Being Scene opens online on March 4, with a virtual opening receptionClick here for information on all scheduled events during the exhibition run. To learn more about this important and exciting annual exhibit, go here.