This morning Iain and I took down the Sawyer Free Library I Am More display here in Gloucester, and we couldn’t make a single trip to the car without library patrons stopping to tell us how much the exhibit impacted them. It’s good to get out of the house every now and then! I spent some time when I got home reading the guestbook, which is not something we’ve had available since the opening exhibit, and I wanted to share with you, and especially the subjects, just some of the comments:
I feel moved to tears. The beauty of the true spirits you released on canvas and through the personal statements. Helen Keller is right. something like: “Although the world is full of suffering, it’s also full of overcoming it.”
Thank you for letting me hear and see through yours and the eyes of your subjects. I too suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD…Nice to learn techniques on combatting and where to go for help. Beautiful art work.
WOW. These are amazing–what a gift. The stories are powerful and your talent is deep. THANK YOU.
Excellent–being a psych nurse for 40+ years it is great to see. Thank you.
I am so glad to have seen these portraits. The artistry alone is great–with the testimonials – outstanding. Thank you.
I am more than my depression, eating disorder and fatness. And these things have shaped the incredible, joyous, warm, curious person I am today. Thank you for this exhibition.
Thank you for giving these wonderful people a voice. Your work – beautiful.
You have given us all a remarkable gift through your art – Courage and Gratitude – This work should go around the world twice!!
Thank you for getting the conversation started.
A powerful work of art and so much more! I too am so much more than the struggle of mental illness.
Remarkable–that’s what this exhibit is–and I take heart (courage) from everyone here.
I went straight to the lady who lost her husband. I have lost mine too. Thank you so much for this!!
Thank you so much to all the people who shared their experience and feeling–so brave, so honest.
This is amazing work in story, truth and image. I am so moved. Thank you.
Miraculous, revelatory work. Thank you and bless you all.
This is an extraordinarily powerful and inspiring body of work–and so important to have it out in the public domain so all can learn from it. Congratulations for the beautiful drawings and to the courageous people who allowed you to capture their “image.”
Thank you! The stories are inspiring and the art is full of soft strokes that comfort us.
Thank you! We are all in need of compassion–all the time.
In some way I am all of these people. I am one. And I am not alone. I recognize several of these people–and yes, they are deep, loving and lovely people. This was beautiful to come across today.
I was incredibly moved, not only by your artwork, but also by the stories that accompanied them. There were quite a few that I could relate to. Thank you for sharing this wonderful gift!
I have lived in Gloucester 30+ years, have come to this library forever. Never saw anything like this.
Thank you for this beautiful, inspiring, humbling and enlightening gift! You have captured the essence, apparently, of each of your subjects: no two are alike, in pose or treatment. And each one is beautiful, in an honest way. The texts, as well, are extraordinary. The writers seem to have given much thought and care in sharing some very deep, often painful parts of themselves. A huge thank you to each of them, the soul of this project. Please share this as widely as possible, maybe a book?
So powerful and moving, I am speechless and my heart is full of admiration and hope for all.
You are all brave for putting your stories out here, and your pieces are all gorgeous and say a lot about your personality and talents. I’m an artist who’s struggled with loss/grief and depression for 6 years now. I’m so glad that you’ve all seemed to accept and forgive yourselves and recover from traumas.
People need to talk about mental health. It shouldn’t be hidden. Your art will help that happen.
This is the most powerful display I have seen in a long long time! Thank you Amy and thank you to these wonderful folks who opened their hearts and shared their stories so that others would know and understand. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
Thanks to Amy and everyone willing to open up about their experiences, their emotions and their resilience. It’s important for those who aren’t exposed to such visceral suffering to reflect and pay more attention to those around us.
Beautiful art and terrific stories. Everyone should see and appreciate this exhibit.
My brother has bipolar disorder and has been struggling for a long time. Seeing Seth and reading the story gave me hope. A small but piercing light at the end of the tunnel. Onward, pals.
So deeply touched by these “stories” of these precious lives coupled with your incredibly sensitive, detailed and revealing portraits. All just so though-provoking and soul-opening. I feel blessed to have met all these people and to see your beautiful, skillful, heart-felt work.
Totally floored! How moving! How vibrant. Thank you!
Thank you to the Sawyer Free Library Matz Gallery Committee for opening your space to us. Next up, Acton Memorial Library…