Youth Paint Night

On Saturday, August 11, 2018, the Changing Tides Crew set sail with our first youth outreach event! Hosted in conjunction with the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, we gathered 38 youth ages 14-24 to join us in exploring art as a positive mental health practice. 

To kick off the evening we had Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Matthew Shima, speak to us about the importance of self expression and self awareness. Through a few simple exercises, guests were encouraged to be mindful of their presence. Following Matthew, artist and art educator, Brian Rojas, led us through a fun painting workshop. We recreated Vincent Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms, and though we were each given the same instructions, our final pieces all turned out quite different. This interactive workshop gave us the freedom to express ourselves with these pieces, mistakes and all. 

Thanks to our friends at GVJCI, our supporters at LTSC, and a community ready to address the stigma of mental health, Changing Tides was able to create an inclusive, relaxing, and fun environment. With the momentum we’ve gained at Paint Night, we hope to continue this conversation with future events and discussions - here’s to changing the tide on mental health.

If you would like to see photos from the event, click here.