Community Celebration for The World Inside You
May 6 2023 | 1 - 4pm

333 E River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Watercolor of single celled organisms

Additional Details

Join us for a community reception on Saturday, May 6 from 1 - 4 p.m. to celebrate the artists and researchers behind the exhibition, The World Inside You. Hear from the artists and researchers behind the team, led by Dr. Katie Cullen, poet Yuko Taniguchi and artist Peng Wu. Enjoy light refreshments following a brief presentation.

This community celebration is in conjunction with The World Inside You, an exhibition of artwork made by adolescent artist-participants in a collaborative research project undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of artists and researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School, led by Dr. Katie Cullen, poet Yuko Taniguchi, and artist Peng Wu, which is part of a years-long collaborative partnership with the Weisman Art Museum.

The Creativity Camp study is both scientific research and a wildly fun eight-day camp experience infused with creative exploration. Funded by the University of Minnesota’s competitive Minnesota Futures Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, this study focuses on how engaging in creative activities impacts adolescents. Researchers aimed to test a potentially high-impact, community-based practice, while simultaneously discovering its brain mechanisms. Camp activities were designed to enhance awareness of the connection between the self and creativity through various reflective, imaginative, and exploratory activities. Forty brave and curious adolescents joined the program to help the researchers understand how creative experiences impact brain flexibility and mental health. While the team learned so much from the adolescents’ experiences, researchers were also inspired by the teens’ creative work.

This exhibition mirrors the Creativity Camp’s overarching theme: an invitation to traverse "the world inside you." Like exploring the ocean, exploring the self involves delving into constantly evolving depths and encountering unexpected multitudes. Self-exploration goes hand in hand with growth and change. Adolescent camp participants were prompted to "go in a direction that is not generally taken." For instance, certain things are always kept inside (our physical brain, heartbeat, emotions, imagination), and certain things are always outside (nature, the outdoors, community, society). In art, insights can be discovered by intentionally misplacing things somewhere they are not normally kept. This exhibition invites the audience to experience the discoveries made by Creativity Camp adolescents in their interior and creative journeys. 

Image credits (top): Illustration and poem courtesy of the Creativity Camp team

Dr. Katie Cullen

About the Speaker

Dr. Cullen is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at the University of Minnesota. She completed all of her medical and research training at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Cullen leads an NIH-funded research team examining the neurodevelopmental underpinnings of depression, self-injury and suicide risk in adolescents and young adults, and investigating interventions aimed at promoting healthy trajectories in these youth.

Yuko Taniguchi

About the Artist

Yuko Taniguchi is a poet, novelist, and a creative collaborator who explores the intersection of healing and creative process with writers, artists, and healthcare professionals. She is currently developing practices that promote engagement, compassion, and inspiration for adolescent patients in the Acute Care Inpatient Psychiatric Unit for Children & Adolescents at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. Taniguchi’s program at Mayo Clinic began by giving adolescents who struggle with mental issues the opportunity to participate in creativity-based activities and examining the responses.

Taniguchi is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Rochester and Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine.

Peng Wu

About the Artist

Peng Wu is an interdisciplinary artist and designer dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, health disparity, queer rights, etc.

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