Mental health is an issue glazed over and forgotten about, even though it affects nearly everyone. The artistic world reveres its historical “tortured” geniuses, such as Vincent van Gogh or Kurt Cobain, but often fails to address the mental health issues within its own community. Artists must fight on their own to promote mental healthcare and promote awareness, as the world around them seems to ignore it in favor of the work they produce. One of these artists is Shanina Dionna, a Philadelphia based artist who works in education and mental health awareness.

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When I think of innovative fashion, I don’t typically think of fabrics or materials such as crystals or satins being utilized, I associate these goods with inaccessible couture brands such as Chanel or Dior. However, as younger fashion designers and brands that have had to utilize the unique materials and opportunities provided to them rise, these materials have become as innovative and contemporary as the people wielding them.

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Brightness is something we all need right now, in a time where everything seems so dark, from seasonal depression to the stress of the upcoming presidential election. A bright spot can be hard to find when everything appears to be dreary, but artists can meld brightness into works with colors that can inspire from beyond the canvas; the lively colors stretching out into life. “My intent with color is to put a smile on the viewer’s face and to experience something new that they have never seen or felt before. Above all, color will always help to convey the message that I am sending out, it speaks to the heart,” said Southern Artist Adam Cook of Smyrna, Georgia, on the statement section of his website

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Spirituality, sexuality and Americana don’t usually go hand in hand. The terms can at first seem contradictory, but American musician Sufjan Stevens combines them as his influences, along with folk and indie rock, to create a wholly unique sound that not even he can replicate from album to album. The Musician is perhaps best known for his soundtrack for the 2017 film, “Call Me By Your Name,” where his song “Mystery of Love” was later performed at the Oscars, but Stevens has been around for decades, making critically acclaimed music that speaks on deeply personal topics, despite Stevens being a private person outside of his music. As Stevens stated in a 2015 interview with the London-based magazine Uncut, “You have to cast out your demons and rebel against your traditions, but you always have to crawl back to the motherland.” Stevens’ music pushes and pulls from his surroundings, but he is always tied to his own histories and traditions. 

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