Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

Get Tickets > Learn More >

Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

Get Tickets >Learn More >

Art Mends series on mental health and coping through art

The Art Mends series encourages community story sharing and heightens awareness around the importance of coping through art, building empathy, and providing access to mental health education. The series includes a free care package of art supplies and a virtual Community Conversation with local guest speakers, artists, and an art therapist who provide a guided art activity and discussion while exploring topics that impact our mental health for Northwest Arkansas communities and individuals.

Art Mends has been developed from Crystal Bridges and the Momentary’s COVID-19 relief efforts, community listening sessions, and partnerships with social service organizations. One such partnership was through the Social Connecting campaign and My Museum Kits to provide immediate support to our region.

Free Community Care Package

If your organization would like to pick up free Art Mends care packages to distribute to those interested, please email [email protected] (packages are available while supplies last).

The care package includes an informational guide with art activities, several art supplies, and an informational sheet with tips to manage emotions, highlighting a local therapeutic art studio My-T-By-Design. The downloadable guide is available here.

  • 1000 free Art Mends care packages will be distributed throughout Northwest Arkansas to provide an essential resource on mental health for public libraries, counseling centers, shelters, and health facilities.

Virtual Art Mends Community Conversations

Virtual Art Mends Community Conversations are 90-minute experiences co-facilitated by an artist and a licensed professional counselor. The program is a journey through the beginning steps of healing and coping through an art activity lesson created by the guest artist (and found in your care package). This reflective journey will be based around a particular issue that Northwest Arkansas residents are facing.

Registered participants for the program can pick up their care package at Crystal Bridges’ main lobby desk. If you’re not able to attend, videos will be recorded and added here for reference.

We will begin each program with a Community Agreement that states:

  • The stories, experiences, and statements shared in this program are designed to bring together different voices from the community in a shared, safe space. All are welcome to participate and we ask you to be respectful and come with a spirit of reciprocity. The views and statements shared by the facilitators and featured guests will be recorded and posted to the Crystal Bridges website for educational purposes only.
  • Live CART captioning and American Sign Language interpretation available with at least two week’s notice or based on availability. Contact [email protected] to schedule.

We invite you to join our upcoming conversations.

Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 pm

Explore drawing and healing for mental health with local perspectives of Essential Workers.

This Art Mends conversation will be co-facilitated by Springdale’s Har-Ber High School art 3 teacher and artist Betsy Kryeziu and Integrated Counseling Services Therapist Candace Carter. Joining the discussion are community guests Faith Lukon, Daisy Bonilla, and Layza Lopez.

About the Art Mends Facilitators:

Betsy Kryeziu is passionate about art and teaching art to her students. She believes that anything can happen when you put your whole heart into it. Betsy has taught for the Springdale school district since 2008, teaching art to elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Candace Carter, MS, LPC is a licensed professional counselor working in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is passionate about integrative counseling and raising awareness about mental health in minority communities. She enjoys art, music, going to concerts, festivals, and spending time with her family. For more information, visit integrativecounselingar.com.

About the Community Guest Group:

Faith Laukon serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, Shared Beginnings, and Habitat for Humanity. She is the coordinator of the first Marshallese-led food pantry, Enrã Food Pantry. 

Layza Lopez-Love is Assistant Director of Programs in the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS Northwest. Mrs. Lopez-Love has more than 15 years of experience working with the Hispanic community and over 7 years with the Marshallese community. She is committed to working with minority communities to ensure that all Arkansans have access to their best health.

Daisy Bonilla as a first-generation American, Daisy’s passion has always been to support vulnerable communities. Daisy is a social worker and deeply connected to the day-to-day struggles faced by her community through community engagement and her profession. She has dedicated her life to advocating for those who are unprotected and unheard, and is running for State Representative to continue advocating for every Arkansan.

Albious Latior moved to Arkansas when he was 9 and graduated from Springdale High School in 2007, later attending Northwest Arkansas Community College. He has been working with many non-profits in the community for the past few years. Currently he works at Arkansas Workers Justice Center as a Marshallese Community Outreach Coordinator and temporarily as a Marshallese Covid-19 Outreach Coordinator at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.


Tuesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm

Explore sculptural self-portraits for mental health with local perspectives exploring self-identity and intersectionality.

This Art Mends conversation will be co-facilitated by Cherokee musician and visual artist Kalyn Barnoski and Integrated Counseling Services Therapist Candace Carter. Joining the discussion are community guests Martin Garay, Kenny Arrendando, and Joi McGowan.

About the Art Mends Facilitators:

Kalyn Fay Barnoski is a ᏣᎳᎩ, native Oklahoman, and Northwest Arkansas resident and Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Arkansas. Her art practice interweaves mediums such as digital, print, traditional textiles, craft and sound platforms as it relates to Indigenous ways of knowing from stories, language, and history of her Cherokee heritage, as well as the overall influence of intertribal indigeneity.  She allows her cultural background and the convoluted nature of her existence as both white and indigenous, to influence her work simultaneously. In her free time, she enjoys performing music under the name Kalyn Fay.

Candace Carter, MS, LPC is a licensed professional counselor working in Little Rock, AR. She is passionate about integrative counseling and raising awareness about mental health in minority communities. She enjoys art, music, going to concerts, festivals, and spending time with her family. For more information, she can be contacted at www.integrativecounselingar.com.

About the Community Guest Group:

Martin Garay is a local theatre artist and musician who is inspired by his hometown of Springdale. One of the founding members of the Latinx Theatre Project, Martin is working toward making theatre a more inclusive space for people of color. He writes music that reflects his lived experiences.

Joi McGowan is a Licensed Associate Counselor practicing in Northwest Arkansas. She has worked in a variety of settings from a Grief Counseling Center, to a Domestic Violence Shelter,  to providing School-based therapy. As a Black woman she has had the privilege of travelling to the continent of Africa and left feeling deeply connected to its land and its people. She understands that here in the United States we all live on stolen land. Therefore, she is excited to learn from an Native American woman on the importance of land, belonging, and identity development.

Julie Petty works at Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas and has worked in the violence prevention and intervention field for 12 years. She has been a national leader in the self advocacy movement, having served for two years (2006-2008) as Chair of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, a national organization that works to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and develop self advocacy skills. She is active in the self advocacy movement nationally and contributes a passion for the civil rights of people with disabilities.


Tuesday, December 1, 7:30 to 9 pm 

This week, explore sculptural self-portraits for mental health with local perspectives exploring the relationship of mental health with Black community members.
Register here.

This Art Mends conversation will be co-facilitated by rapper and artist Jasper Logan and Integrated Counseling Services Therapist Candace Carter, LPC. Joining the discussion are community guests Lakisha Bradley, Edwin Strickland, and Mychael Harris.

About the Art Mends Facilitators:

Candace Carter, MS, LPC is a licensed professional counselor working in Little Rock, AR. She is passionate about integrative counseling and raising awareness about mental health in minority communities. She enjoys art, music, going to concerts, festivals, and spending time with her family. For more information, she can be contacted at www.integrativecounselingar.com.

Jasper Logan is a local NWA hip-hop artist who mixes elements of gospel, rap, and many other genres to deliver unique, heartfelt lyrics. In his music, Jasper openly discusses the tragedies and adversities he has faced in life, and hopes that his music will inspire others to do something great and positive for themselves. Jasper serves as a community activist, producing community events to engage, uplift, and empower minority groups.

About the Community Guest Group:

Mychael Harris is a local photographer. Originally from Texarkana, he moved to the region to pursue a degree in architecture from the U of A. He is a father of one and could not have asked for a better blessing.

Edwin Strickland is a local church pastor with Fellowship of Champions, serves a General Manager for Generation Ready, and a long-time school administrator, teacher, and former principal for Springdale and Fayetteville schools.

Lakisha Bradley is the Executive Director and founder of MY-T-BY-DESIGN Therapeutic Art Studio located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A previous Walmart employee, Lakisha took a leap of faith and followed the path God created by serving her community in a special way. Through her unique workshops, Lakisha saw a spark of hope and light exude from the participants. Lakisha soon discovered that they were doing much more than just painting, but helping people start the journey of SEEING THEIR VALUE and KNOWING THEIR WORTH through art--and thus, the mission of MY-T-BY-DESIGN began to take shape. She serves on several boards around NWA and is pursuing her counseling license in Family & Marriage/Play Therapy from John Brown University.