PEABODY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An art exhibit is making an unlikely home at the NorthShore Mall in Peabody, Massachusetts. I Am More: Massachusetts was created by Gloucester artist Amy Kerr.
Her pastel portraits of residents from all around the state are accompanied by essays about "mental illness or health diagnosis or physical disability or whatever was overshadowing their life," Kerr told WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens.
"I want to highlight people's strengths and their goals and their values," Kerr said. "So we're not just our depression or our addiction, we're all so much more than that."
Kerr started I Am More as a public writing project to deal with her own depression, but soon, others in the Cape Ann community started talking to her about their struggles, includes outreach from different state services aimed at suicide prevention and help with addiction.
She said she added the essays "so [those who need help] can see there are others who are successfully living with a cancer diagnosis or depression like me."
"As an artist I decided what I could do was create images of people dealing with different adversity in their lives," Kerr said.
I Am More: Massachusetts will run throughout the month of January at the NorthShore Mall. Listen to the full interview with Kerr below.
WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports