Art gallery breaks stigma of mental health as a different kind of therapy

One painting displays a pattern of chalk lines that orient into a girl's face.

Called the "masks that last," it's meant to depict someone who is open and honest, wearing those character traits on their face.

"The temperatment we came with, being funny, never sleeping, sleeping too much, being a little bit anxious," said Dr. Paula Christian-Kliger. "Really loving people, or being shy and introverted."

Another painting next to it conveys a different mindset. A mask that veils.

"These are the aspects of that we aren't always clear about, these are the aspects of us that may be unconscious to us," she said. "So you can see in the picture, the girl's face is covered."

Christian-Kilger is a traditional therapist. But with her new gallery attempts to tackle therapy via other mediums. She's opting to engage the mind through other ways, instead of just a one-on-one conversation.

Dotted all around the gallery is art that's meant to be more user-friendly. The art, which comes from a book she wrote about breaking the stigma of asking for mental health help, merges that sentiment while also offering help as well. It's a window into your mental state. 

"We can do that through art, visual art, we can do that through music, we can do that through writing because the words go along with each othe paintings," Christian-Kilger said. "There are many different ways of using art to heal ourselves and to engage in a therapeutic process."

Visit the Galerie Camille on 4130 Cass Ave. this weekend to see the display. Wine, dinner and a little visual introspection may be just what you need.