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NVRH and NKHS collaborate to bring The 99 Faces Project to the NEK

by | Oct 28, 2019 | In the News

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) and Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS) are partnering with artist Lynda Cutrell to bring The 99 Faces Project, an exhibit of 99 portraits, sculptures and paintings that destigmatize mental health, to the Northeast Kingdom. The opening reception will be on Veterans Day, November 11, 4 p.m. – 6, in the lobby of NVRH.

The goal of The 99 Faces Project is to inform, on a scientific basis, about our mental health, challenging how individuals living with mental illness are seen by others, and showcase the healing power of love and acceptance.

“Although all 99 of the portraits are of people who are experiencing mental illness in some capacity, no one is labeled as being on the schizophrenia spectrum or the bipolar spectrum,” Art Gallery Curator Jen Layn said. “This reinforces the message that your symptoms do not define who you are.”

Cutrell created this exhibit after she learned of a family member’s schizophrenia diagnosis.

“I had no idea how common symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar are, a dozen years ago no one spoke about them,” Cutrell said. “Although public interest is high right now, really understanding the complexity of our mental health is limited… The exhibit attempts to display big-picture scientific information through an accessible art form, ultimately allowing viewers an intimate view into the lives of the 99.” 

The 99 Faces Project reflects the US population in its diversity: individuals in these portraits range from 3 – 90 years of age and work in a variety of professions, from authors, MBAs and CEOs to artists and lawyers. November’s opening reception will focus on veterans and the 22 veterans who are part of the project.

“Veterans struggle with many mental health challenges,” NKHS Director of Marketing, Development and Community Relations Lila Bennett said. “It’s important for them to not only find support in local services and in their family and friends, but to also see that they are viewed as integral figures in the fabric of society.”

The 99 Faces Project (99facesproject.com) exhibit is striking and powerful. The largest art exhibit to visit NVRH, it will be on display from November 11 to March 2. For more information or to see some of the art, visit www.99facesproject.com.

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