Doing Well Through Art at Gallery Gachet Unit
- Appreciate the connection between art and healing
- Acknowledge the benefit of stakeholder engagement that fosters meaningful identity and clarity of purpose
- Value art as social and political engagement
The artefact for this unit is a short 10-minute video based on a powerful interview that team members Diane Purvey and Megan Davies recorded with Karen Ward, artist and member of the Gallery Gachet Collective.
Evaluating the Artefact
A well established artist-run centre located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Gallery Gachet is named after artist Vincent Van Gogh’s homeopathic doctor. Starting small with one annual exhibit in a basement studio in 1993, Gachet now hosts up to 12 exhibits per year and is a vibrant local hub for talks, workshops, symposia and special projects and events. Collective Members determine the programming and direction of Gachet, positioning the facility at the intersection between art and healing, and mounting shows and events that challenge attitudes and practices relating to mental health and marginalization. Gachet is about art and culture, but it is also about meaningful work, decent housing, human rights and social and economic justice.
Karen Ward is a writer, artist, activist and longtime Collective Member who believes that Gachet exemplifies best practice in community mental health programming. Educators and students will find her thoughtful – and personal – reflections an excellent entrée into a broader discussion of the merits of creative expression, community engagement, and personal and collective empowerment.