This past weekend, the Carnegie Museum of Art hosted an event which aimed to make an impact among several different communities in the Pittsburgh area. Artist Talk, an event centered around mental health, returned for its third installation on the evening of July 17. Impacting over 200 Pittsburgh creatives, this event series is truly making a difference in the community. 

Ever heard of this awesome event before? If not, we are here to give you the scoop! Artist Talk invites artists specializing in all forms of art to join together to break down the stigma around mental health by discussing this important topic. Photographers, musicians, traditional artists, and more gather at these events to share the stories and inspiration behind some of their very personal and moving pieces of art. At this weekend’s event for $30, guests gained access to hors d’oeuvres and raffle entry for gifts donated by artists and art organizations, in addition to full access to the event and its resources. VIP upgrades were available for early entry and a meet and greet with the artists. Something special about this third event in the Artist Talk series was the fact that all artists were from the LGBTQ+ community in honor of June’s Pride Month. The lineup of artists is listed below:

Performing Arts:

Emma Johnson: Transgender Electronic Music Producer and DJ with Autism

Jesse Council: Singer, songwriter, and co-owner of Sound Council LLC, a business crafting introspective and interactive music spaces that promote queer visibility

SUPA’ NXC: Collaborative musical duo (Xopher and Naheen) with Trinidadian hip-hop influence

Ivory Eddins: Self-taught musician

Remy Black: Drag Performer and queer healthcare advocate working primarily with the transgender community

Visual Arts:

Griffin Wilson: Founder of UNSTABLE, a clothing brand changing the negative connotation behind the term “unstable”

Ivory Eddins: Self-taught visual artist

Emily Paige Armstrong: Artist, educator, and activist exploring themes of identity, spirituality, and relationships to societal structures 
Cue Perry: Visual artist and live painter

This event not only featured mental health conversations with these artists from the LGBTQ+ community, but also performances and experiences surrounding each of the creatives and their work. Emma Johnson and Jesse Council both performed unreleased songs, Ivory Eddins performed the song “Just Like Me”, Remy Black performed drag, SUPA’ NXC performed a song, Emily Paige Armstrong displayed a canvas piece, and Cue Perry live painted a model during the Artist Talk event. As an immersive experience with different mediums of art, the conversation surrounding mental health, and other self-care activations, this event is one you will want to keep an eye out for in the future. 

Artist Talk keeps the mental health community at its center so it is no surprise that a percentage of the proceeds were donated to Hope For The Day. This worldwide organization focuses on empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education. With representation in all 50 US States, 26 countries, and 17 languages, Hope For The Day offers downloadable resources, opportunities for individual and organizational education, and much more to end the silence about mental health. One of the self-care activations at Artist Talk was hosted by Hope For The Day where their trained staff lead a conversation about mental health and the stigma that surrounds it.

Another mental health group that was in attendance was Steel Smiling. This organization is local to Pittsburgh and has the mission of bridging the gap between community members and mental health support through education, advocacy, and awareness. They hosted a table at Artist Talk. One thing we love about Steel Smiling is how they not only break the silence on mental health conversations but also refer community members to mental health care providers and practitioners in the area to receive further assistance in their mental health journey.

Since its inception in late 2021, Artist Talk has been an event “by artists, for artists” as founder Sydney Davis (Niplids) hoped it would be. With the trying times of the pandemic, artists have found themselves in hardship for so many reasons. Lack of a steady income, creative pressures, inspiration burnout due to isolation, and other reasons have made the last couple of years particularly trying for those in the business of art. We’ve heard from big-name singers and entertainers that experiencing a lack of creativity was a common occurrence in pandemic times. All artists were feeling this pressure no matter what style of art or what level of fame, and Artist Talk was created just for that. This expressive event helped and continues to help highlight local and regional artistic talent while offering resources for those battling income loss, creative fatigue, and mental health struggles.

There is no doubt Sydney Davis and Artist Talk have a bright future ahead. In just three events, this series has brought so much positivity to the community surrounding mental health and the support of local artistic talent. Be on the lookout for more events by following along on Artist Talk’s Instagram @artisttalkpgh and their website!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Francesca Ferrante

Francesca Ferrante aka The412Franimal is a Blogger/Influencer for travel and ALL things Pittsburgh. Typically you can find her all over the US exploring the best food, views and adult beverages, or at a local PGH brewery watching whatever sport is in season. Passionate about helping others make the best memories, she loves sharing recommendations and tips for restaurants, events, happy hours & more!

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