For Mental Health Awareness Month, ArtServe Highlights Psychological Benefits of Art

Opening Reception for Mental Health Art Exhibit Fri., April 21
Features Panel With Local, Psychology Professionals, Artists

For Mental Health Awareness Month, ArtServe will kick off its upcoming exhibit, “Wellness Exhibition:  Fostering Mental and Emotional Health—An Artist’s Journey Through Healing” with a free, public opening reception on Fri., April 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sponsored by and Broward Health, the April 21 reception features a panel discussion of top local psychology professionals and a local artist.  Moderated by Funding Arts Broward Director of Administration Kat Sierra, the panel includes:

  • Peter Ventre, Founder and Managing Partner of
  • Manoushka Saintil, Family Therapist for Broward County Public Schools
  • Heather Palacios, Founder of Wondherful, a non-profit dedicated to preventing suicide
  • David H. Hepburn, a South Florida-based artist, photographer and filmmaker

The evening will begin with a group “mindful meditation,” followed by a welcome introduction and music from the Abstract Citizen jazz quartet.

Produced in part thanks to a grant from Broward Cultural Division and Culture Builds Florida, admission to both the reception and the exhibit are free.

Also sponsored by and Broward Health, ArtServe’s mental health-themed art exhibit runs through Fri., June 16, 2023, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. ArtServe is located at 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

ArtServe curated the “Wellness” exhibit from local artists’ submissions like Parkland-based Lori Arbel, who is also a therapeutic art coach, as well as a gallery owner.  Entries were welcomed from adults, as well as from students in the eighth grade through college.

“It’s long been known in medical circles that art is a highly effective form of therapy that encourages non-verbal communication and healing when people are often unable to speak for whatever the reason,” ArtServe executive director Jason Hughes said. “Exploring self-expression through the outlet of various artforms can create a safe space that helps many embrace and sort through their own personal difficulties.”

According to the American Art Therapy Association, there are over 5,000 art therapists practicing nationwide who provide services for individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative processes, applied psychological theory and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.

A solo exhibit entitled “Story of a Woman’s Journey” produced by Deborah Strelkow will run concurrently to the “Wellness” exhibit at ArtServe.

ArtServe inspires, supports and advances its diverse members, artists and community by promoting artistic development, education and prosperity through the exploration and presentation of the visual and performing arts.

About ArtServe 

Named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits, Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe is an award-winning arts incubator that is advancing the arts for social good as a creative laboratory and hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Now in its 35th year, ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts and is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Florida’s Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. Each year, ArtServe programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, helping 2,000+ artists sell their work, build businesses and engage the community. To do that, ArtServe secures financial support through donations, sponsorships and memberships.

About is a multi-disciplinary group of board-certified psychiatrists and medical professionals with a range of backgrounds and specialties, providing high-quality mental and behavioral health support to patients who may be struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. has locations in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties, all of which offer our full complement of Behavioral Health services including TMS psychiatric treatment.

About Broward Health 

Broward Health is a nationally recognized health system in South Florida. As one of the 10 largest public healthcare systems in the U.S., Broward Health boasts two trauma centers and virtually every health specialty, offering compassionate, personalized care across its four hospitals and more than 50 health centers and physician practices. As a leader in advanced healthcare for 85 years, Broward Health has a robust graduate education program and international services. For more information, visit