Linda Farrell, a visual arts teacher at Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls (CCPSG), combined the message of the importance of mental health and the icons from On Our Sleeves into an art lesson on Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” for her classroom.

Student art referencing Pablo Picasso's "blue period."

How did you get the idea to do this project?

There are many artists throughout the ages that have dealt with mental illness. Some of them turned to art for just that reason. It really helps to have a connection when doing an art activity in the classroom, students get excited to create work that will be viewed by others and help to send a message. 

Student art referencing Pablo Picasso's "blue period."

How did you decide to incorporate the icons?

We had been studying abstract art in the classroom and used Pablo Picasso as our inspiration. He went through a "blue period" when things in his life weren't going exactly as planned. We talked about how we have that in our lives sometimes and that's when I thought to include the symbolism from On Our Sleeves

I talked with our school-based behavioral health therapist here at CCPSG who stopped by a few times to see the work in progress, take pictures and offer the girls stickers from the campaign. 

Student art referencing Pablo Picasso's "blue period."

Why is it important to talk about mental health?

I think it’s important for both our students and their parents to understand that there are resources available to them when they are going through hard times and hopefully reach out.