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Tiles for Truth and Triumphs

Inspired by Mental Health Awareness Month this past May, Vinfen’s Atlantic Clubhouse and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI) South Shore teamed up to debut The Tile Project. With the support of Betty MacIntyre, President of NAMI South Shore, this partnership’s goal was to showcase Atlantic member’s artwork as well as promoting effective emotional wellness practices.

Recently, Atlantic Clubhouse was able to start using their kiln again. As a result, members worked on small tiles that they each individually were able to design. “The overall theme of the project is titled Common Ground, which included our shared inspirations, aspirations, celebrations, explorations, and imagination,” Atlantic Clubhouse Program Director Janette Tibets shared. Each member then chose one of these ideas as an inspiration to create an image on a tile. “The goal is to find out how we share these themes among our Atlantic Clubhouse membership and the larger community as a whole,” added Clubhouse Counselor Anita Barnes.

Branching off the given theme, members and staff gathered together to brainstorm what each detail meant to them. The various inspirations for members included a rainbow, family, wild flowers, puzzles, a drum set, and mathematics. Aspirations of members were comprised of the act of trying, building a beautiful home, the ability to play sports, becoming a mother, living in a healthy way, and finding sunshine on a cloudy day. Members also collaborated on ways they experience celebration in life. Among these examples included celebration through sports, love, peace, spirituality, and mental health and recovery. Explorations of members encompassed the depths of the ocean, a tropical island, exploring Mars, the beauty of nature, the complexity of cellular life, and even the universe as a whole.

A total of 45 tiles were completed and over 30 members participated in this project. Once the tiles were finished, tile boards were then created to present a collaboration of creativity at Atlantic Clubhouse. Uniquely, these tile boards are mobile, and the stunning displays will circulate throughout the Massachusetts community.

In recent news and in honor of mental health awareness for all, the tile boards will soon be displayed on the 4th floor at the Massachusetts State House during the week of September 23. This opportunity flourished in part due to Janette holding a position on the NAMI South Shore Board Members as an Advocacy Liaison. “Some of our members attended the NAMI Advocacy Day on April 8 and were able to visit a number of the Legislators, and that is when we received an invitation to bring the tile boards and member artwork to the state house for display,” Janette explained. Everyone at Atlantic couldn’t be happier with how the project turned out. “The project truly brought our members closer together, helped us see our commonalities, and provided us a sense of accomplishment,” shared Anita. Vinfen would like to sincerely thank NAMI South Shore for their partnership, support, and funding to enable the true success of such a wonderful project on mental health awareness.