Find Help, Find Hope!

Run extended to 6/10/18 for WE RISE Festival of Art & Community Building “Make Mental Health a Civil Right”

The featured pop up art show is the full embodiment of  emotional, heartfelt, gritty, message art at its finest.  It will shock you. It will change you.   It will make you smile.  It will make you cry.  It will move you in myriad ways.  The art here will pick you up off your feet, shake you up, and fling you down.  This an eclectic melange of voices, views, visual violence and voids that is not to be taken lightly and not to be missed.

It is the definition of cathartic writ large: “providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotion; releases emotional tension, especially after an overwhelming experience.”

If you have ever experienced emotional pain, if you are human, if your heart isn’t a frozen chip of ice, if you or someone close to you have suffered from depression, gloom, despair, from serious psychological distress, or serious mental illness here is art you can connect to, that means something, and is transforming.

WE RISE is a 10-day pop-up festival of art and community building coming to life in Downtown, Los Angeles between May 19th and May 28th. Over the course of the show, 150+ artists will present original artworks in a world class exhibition designed to inspire action, over 50 hours of creative programming and workshops with some of the biggest names in pop culture, activism and art will issue specific and direct calls to action and our art lab will have hours of fun activities designed at improving our communities overall understanding about mental health and the care all youth deserve. — from the We Rise website.

I went down to North Spring Street Monday afternoon, with my expectations held in check, to see if the exhibition lived up to its hype. It does.  A national call had gone out to artists and non-artists to tackle the themes of the We Rise event.  They certainly did.  This kind of art has to be seen up close to be fully  appreciated, not everything visual can be captured on snap chat.  The layers, the nuances, the confluence of large and small, of hope and hopelessness, and all the rest overwhelm the camera lens which cannot do it justice.  It doesn’t matter how many pixels your smartphone digital camera has, it just cannot capture it all.

Nevertheless, bring your camera, their is still plenty to memorialize in a photo.  They will let you take pictures, for this art is for you the people.  I took plenty of pictures.  In fact, I’ll have to go back.  My phone ran out of charge and I ran out of time.

You may have a personal rule about avoiding downtown.  It’s time to make an exception.  You won’t regret it.


Did I mention you get to make your own art, too, the freebies, the workshops, the presentations, the focus on youth culture?  Go to the festival website and pick the events and experiences that appeal to you, but don’t short shrift the art gallery.

In the meantime, enjoy this quick little video preview.

— John Hallowitz, Los Angeles, CA, 5/21/18


In Motion: Exclusive Preview of the We Rise Art Gallery

Exciting! The #WeRiseLA Art Gallery is officially open to the public now. Join us from 5 PM – 10 PM at We Rise in DTLA every night this week! RSVP at http://WeRise.LA/Calendar.

Posted by We Rise Los Angeles on Monday, May 21, 2018

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