12 - Wendy Trusler
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Collective Vision—The Fine Art of Health

2011 – ongoing curatorial project


A Public Art Project to enrich the healing environment in the Mental Health Services Department of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre ( PRHC), open to both professional and amateur artists—any individual who is directly or indirectly affected by mental illness. These broad specifications reflect the reality that, in one way or another, we are all affected by mental illness.


There are currently thirty-eight Collective Vision artists, ages six to seventy, who together, since 2011 have exhibited over 150 works. Forty of those works have been added to the PRHC permanent collection including Micky Renders 25-piece colour field installation,  Finding Joy, which was purchased for the hospital through an anonymous donation.


With thanks to all the participating artists for their talent and dedication.


Featured here, in order of appearance, are a sampling of Micky Renders’ oil on canvas paintings, John Marris’ collaborative acrylic on paper works, digital collages by Laurel Paluck, Claire Hogenkamp’s ipad paintings and Laura Madera’s abstract watercolours.


Acrylics, oils, watercolours, prints, ipad paintings, hand pulled prints, photography and mixed media — Can Art Change Anything?


“Until I applied to participate, I had been silent about the effects of mental illness on my family and me. I wasn’t hiding it, but I also wasn’t sharing it. Including my mother’s story in the application was very liberating.”

—Claire Hogenkamp, Collective Vision Artist


“I love this installation. It was so calming for me transitioning in to D1 Intensive and again, re-entering the rest of the world…
I wonder if it could somehow be reproduced to be used as a therapeutic tool?”

—Thoughts on Finding Joy from a MHS practitioner.


“My life will still be a “success” story. I do not give up… So many people have the idea that being traumatized is a lifelong state and I happen to know that it can be reversed and I already see the signs… Thank you for encouraging my art for this is one certain way of healing…Thank you so very much for all of your help and kindness to me. It is deeply appreciated that you have never treated me with disdain or prejudice. Some have.”

—Thoughts from a Collective Vision artist, 2013


Collective Vision Exhibitions run for six-month periods, and new submissions of unframed works on paper are always welcome. Information about the submissions process can be found on the Collective Vision Facebook page, at www.prhcfoundation.ca or by contacting the PRHC Foundation at art@prhc.on.ca. To find out how you can support the initiative contact me here. By working together, we can continue to dispel the myths and stigma associated with mental illness.


Collective Vision came into being largely through the financial assistance of the Peterborough Foundation and is funded in part by a grant from the Bierk Art Fund, a fund within the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. The project was also made possible through the community partnerships and support from Prime Data, Big Sky Design, Victory Art Supply and Christensen Fine Art.