Please Art Responsibly

Please Art Responsibly

This section developed from my work as college faculty teaching Critical Thinking, and from my project as a Mellon Humanities Scholar at Hunter College. You can contact me at

Follow me on Twitter at QueerWriterNYC and on Instagram @alex_fiano

My Project: Museums as a Mental Health Resource: Education and Sanctuary

This two-perspective project explores 1) how art museums can be a valuable resource to counter stigma and discrimination against persons with psychological disabilities through art exhibitions and education; and 2) how museums can serve as a safe space and refuge benefiting mental health in the US, as has been done in other nations. My deep-felt thanks to the administrators of the Mellon Public Humanities Scholar Program, my project mentor Prof. Harper Montgomery, and public outreach mentor Madeleine Barnes, for their support!

Contribute to My 2021 Mental Health & Art Project: “Letter to 2021”

Please contribute to this art project raising awareness of how art can educate and advocate about mental health. The responses will be integrated into a design of images and symbols. No one will be ridiculed and no hateful language will be used (or accepted). I’m posting the finished works on my website and Instagram (@Alex_Fiano) and Twitter (@QueerWriterNYC) Submitting the form and/or sending to me via email ( is an acknowledgment of permission to use your responses in the artwork and any related publicity.

Below, complete the message to 2021–what you feel will help mental health this year, and what you feel will hurt mental health this year. Then give a name you feel comfortable being used publicly.


Click here to read the responses and view the completed artwork


Past Workshops

Connections: Using Art & Critical Thinking to Explore Mental Health

This 50-minute online workshop, hosted by the International Human Rights Arts Festival, investigated learning about mental health through art, with a framework of critical thinking strategies, an outgrowth of my experience and learning in the Humanities. The workshop was entitled Connections: Using Art & Critical Thinking to Explore Mental Health. It took place on Wednesday, February 24, via Zoom and Facebook Live. Attendees participated in several activities to explore the interpretation of art relating to psychological conditions and emotional states.

Workshop Materials

Below are materials used in the workshop, that can be adapted to use in teaching, for student projects (please be sure to cite properly), for discussions on art and mental health, and for museum tours.

Word Cloud Worksheet

This PDF is an activity for perspective–to brainstorm words and terms regarding emotions and mental health.

Observation Activity

This PDF is a guide to distribute or use for one’s self when touring/observing art. It can be used to document observations or in accompaniment with a journal.

Activity on Emotional Intelligence

This PDF is an activity to make connections between art and emotional intelligence.

Guide to Preparing Discussion Materials: Art & Mental Health

This guide, adapted from my workshop and project for the Mellon Humanities Scholar program, offers points on how to develop materials for a tour or discussion on making connections between art and mental health.

PDF of Website Workshop Presentation


Resource page on Evaluating Credibility and beginning research.

Other resource pages in development

Page updated 4/9/2021