Coping: Transcending Through Creation

September 19, 2021 - October 22, 2021

Index Art Center

in this dizzying moment, my experiences and work as a nurse has left me with deep sadness, grief, exhaustion and anger. creating despite the odds has been a personal journey where expression has made space for the murky to extend beyond me. our bodies and emotions can only safely handle a limited amount of stress, trauma results whenever an experience exceeds our abilities to handle and cope with its consequences.

art/creation has the potential to heal, inspire, relieve, as well as give voice and understanding to the invisible. this exhibition aims to bridge and facilitate dialogues about mental health in our community during a collectively traumatic time. mental health is often stigmatized; we seek to open a space of comfort, where the work presented can allow people to feel seen, heard, and accepted.

for this call, artists were invited to reflect on the following prompts:

how is the way you create influenced by your mental health? is the way you create a form of caring for your mental health? does the way you share help with communicating the emotional weight of this time? how can sharing your work facilitate dialogue about mental health in our communities?

Participating Artists:

Nora Evita Aresti, Shantell Batista, Axe Binondo, Katie Bullock, Marcy Chevali, Eleven, Gisel

Endara (Yawati), Gerardo Esteban, Benedicto Figueroa, Monica Flores, Y. Fransheska,

Rosemary Gonzalez, Jasmine Holder, Indigleaux, Rita Jimenez, Ayana Kareem, Monifa Kincaid,

Esmé Naumes-Givens, Naya Nicole, Olive, Bleriot Thompson, Eddie Villanueva

displayed below are gallery view images exhibited at Index Art Center on 237 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102

Naya Nicole

Untitled, 2021

Oil paint on canvas, 36” x 48”


Naya Nicole

Untitled, 2021

Oil paint on canvas, 36” x 48”


Shantell Batista

Future, 2020

Digital print, 15” x 20”


Katie Bullock,

Security (ongoing series), 2021

Drawing, 3.5” x 5.5”


Gisel Endara (Yawati)

Chasqui, 2016

Pastel on paper, 12” x 15”

Not for sale


Her, 2020

Acrylic on Wood, 36” x 36”


Eddie Villanueva

Check In (Self Care), 2020

Mix media drawing on paper, 9” x 12”

Not for sale

Monica Flores

Series: Existir es resistir, 2021

Cyanotype on watercolor paper, 11” x 15”


Y. Fransheska

The Past I Wear Weighs Heavy, 2020

Mixed media, 11” x 14”


Axe Binondo

like someone drowning, 2021

Crayon, color pencil, paper, metal, plastic shopping bags, dimensions variable



Schizo, 2018

Paint on canvas, 36” x 48”


Marcy Chevali

Untitled, 2020

Glass, 11” x 10” x 6”


Benedicto Figueroa,

When a Great Darkness Meets an Extraordinary Light, 2020

Printed on Slate Cover Stock

$10, Copies for Sale

Jasmine Holder

Grief & Deliverance, 2021

Analog and digital photography, printed on natural bamboo fiber, 13” x 19”

Not for sale

Monifa Kincaid

Sometimes, 2020

Oil pastel on paper, 18” x 24”


Bleriot Thompson

Public Enemy no. 1 “CHAD”, 2020

Paint and mixed media, 25” x 54”

Not for sale

Nora Evita Aresti

Peekskill Waterfront, 2021

Oil paint, 24” x 24”


Grocery List, 2021

Oil paint, 16” x 24”


Gerardo Esteban

self shape, 2021

Colored pencil on paper, 7” x 10”


Esmé Naumes-Givens

Our Essense Grows Heavy, We Grow Thicker, 2020

Collage on paper, 10” x 12”



We Toil For The Fruit We Eat, 2021

Print of watercolor, 13.5” x 19”

$111, Copies for sale

Rosemary Gonzalez

El Campo, 2021

Papier-mâché, colored tissue, dimensions variable

Price upon request

Ayana Kareem

Mental Break, 2021

Acrylic, ink, & pastels on paper, 20” x 26”


Rita Jimenez

Healing Light Shrine, 2021

Light materials, fabric, dimensions variable

Site specific, Not for sale