The exhibition of “Mental Health of Young People” was opened on 20th September 2022 in the Cultural and Tourist Information Center (KTIC) of Donja Stubica. Many people, especially young people, attended the opening of the exhibition.

This exhibition, organized by Mreža udruga Zagor, Stub-Klub Multimedia Center, Centar za mlade KZŽ, will remain open until 4th October. After Donja Stubica, the exhibition will move to Zabok. 

This exhibition is part of the “Art Colony of Mental Health” Workshop. The workshop was organized by Zagor on 2nd July at Picelj. Many young people participated in the workshop under the mentorship of Jana Đurđević and Marija Gebert and they made pictures about mental health. I talked with Marija Gebert about the exhibition and the importance of painting for our mental health.

  • Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Marija Gebert. I am a graphic and web designer. I finished school for art, design, graphic and clothes in Zabok. At the art colony on Picelj, I was one of the mentors supporting others in expressing their thoughts through art.

  • Why is this workshop important for young people? Can you tell why painting our mental health is important?

As I said, expressing our thoughts can be very useful, especially in the hard time that we currently live in. Young people are the most vulnerable group during hard times, and not giving them a chance to express themselves in various situations can lead to difficulties in their future life on the specter of mental illnesses like depression or anxiety. Expressing several emotions and mental states can be expressed in different ways such as art, music, theatre, writing, etc. Art colony was a creative way of expressing and sharing averseness of the importance of mental health. Painting can be figurative and abstract so it’s a great way to express a topic like this.

The topic was chosen by the Mreža udruga Zagor team. Working with young people they notice the importance of discussing mental health so I really liked the idea.

  • How did you feel after the workshop and exhibition? 

I was happy that all kinds of youngsters decided to join the art colony. It wasn’t the point to make a “perfect” painting but to express yourself so at the end of the day, you feel better and have a beautiful piece of art that in a specific way shows how you feel. The exhibition was an event in which we collected all the paintings made at the colony and share them with public so they can find inspiration in expressing themselves and see what is others point of the view of the same topic.

  • Did you get any feedback from young people about the workshop?

Yes, the feedback was great. Every young person, watching the exhibition or participating in the art colony shared a lot of different emotions. They also said that they didn’t know painting can affect you in a such positive way. 

  • Do you want to add something?

If you don’t like to paint, or you feel you are not able to express yourself via painting, you can always try expressing yourself through other types of art. As I already mentioned you can try music, writing, theatre or aromatherapy as a replacement. Just be aware to share your thoughts through some channels.  

Interview: Evin Arslan

Photos: Evin Arslan

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