Toronto-based Twentytwenty Arts just concluded their latest mental health awareness campaign, Life on the Line, a public art project featuring 20 unique submission-based artworks that reflect on the personal experiences of mental illness. One hundred posters, five of each design, were exhibited on the Toronto TTC Subway from November 19th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019.
Twentytwenty Arts created Life on the Line to raise awareness, visibility and funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto’s Holiday Gift Program. Now in its 63rd year, CMHA Toronto’s Holiday Gift Program bought gifts and necessities that were assembled by hundreds of volunteers and delivered by front-line workers. The program delivers over 6000 gifts each year to individuals living with mental health challenges who are isolated during the holidays. Partnered with three dozen other Toronto mental health agencies, CMHA Toronto is able to provide a helping hand to the homeless, children, women being sheltered from violence, recent immigrants and other at-risk individuals and families.
Prints of the artwork displayed on the TTC Subway are available for sale on the TTC Shop website, with 80% of all sales donated to CMHA Toronto’s Holiday Gift Program.
There is a major disparity between how physical and mental illness are publicly viewed, funded and represented. This legacy of underfunding and pervasive stigma has meant that for too long, people have suffered in silence and been denied appropriate care. Art has the power to drive, inspire, and promote social change, making it a powerful tool for erasing stigma and improving access to care. Humanizing and actualizing the emotions and fears associated with mental illness, Life on the Line is connecting people, resources, and organizations through the medium of art.