Too Dark | Group Exhibition

Too Dark | Group Exhibition 

Welcome Gallery  

The purpose of this exhibition is to advocate for mental health by exposing the parts society often doesn’t want to see, which have been considered “too dark.” Artworks are by participants of Community Support Services’ art therapy program, all of whom experience mental illness. Community Support Services is committed to providing hope and healthcare for those of Summit County struggling with persistent mental illnesses, along with building a community where mental health and physical health are treated equally.  

Special thanks to Bradley Hart, Summit Artspace resident artist, for photography of virtual exhibitions!

Did you know?

Most of the artwork on display at Summit Artspace is for sale.
Click on the artwork images for pricing and more information about each piece. 

If you would like to purchase any art, please visit a staff member or volunteer at the front desk, or email

1- Skylar Frase  | The Shadow  | NFS
Marker on paper
Artist Statement: With this artwork, I drew my shadow self to represent the depression and anxiety that loom over me every day. It felt good to being able to express this side of me that many people don’t know. Art is healing for me because it helps me express what I have trouble communicating.  


2- Connie Sparks | What? | NFS
Acrylic paint and oil pastels with Mod Podge on canvas
Artist Statement: During the pandemic I was isolated and depressed. My social outlets were cut off and in-person art therapy groups were suspended. I felt lost and alone. I finally decided to paint on my own at home to express how I was feeling. I painted the clown because I always put on a smile even when I feel really sad and hurt on the inside. In this portrait, the clown is more authentic, he’s not smiling, he’s saying, “What do you want me to do? You can’t change the situation so why beat yourself up?” It’s kind of me talking to myself. Once I was able to paint it, I felt relief; I was able to release the feelings. I always feel better when I do my art.  


3- Jimmy | Faking It | NFS
Mixed media and collage
Artist Statement: The mask was one of the first things I made in art therapy. I painted bright colors on the outside to represent appearing happy and care-free. But the mask is hiding what’s on the inside; darkness. Then I made the collage behind the mask to explain my feelings. The only way to see what’s inside the mask is to look at the reflection of the small broken mirror pieces. It is difficult, but if you put enough effort in, you can see my perspective. What you might be able to see is a jagged edge around the darkness of the mask. The edge is like a barrier, it looks rough and sharp, but it is protection from letting anything in that could hurt me, even me. Sometimes I can come off like I don’t care about anyone or anythingI can be jagged and rough toobut I learned I am trying to avoid getting hurt.  


4- Johnathon S. | Escaping Wonderland | NFS
Mixed media on canvas
Artist Statement: Creating my artwork was freeing, I could relax and not have to think. The feelings I suppress with my thoughts I’m safe to express when creating. Coming out of a manic psychotic episode, creating this piece helped me express feelings and delusions I had at the time in a safe way. 


5- Guana | Dance Party | NFS
Mixed media on canvas
Artist Statement: Art is the reflection of my perception of life. It is messy, it is complicated, but it is perfect. Everything comes out in the execution; feelings, emotions – everything. Then, I’m left with the visual representation of my feelings and emotions, put out there for the world to view and perceive in their own way! Specifically, for me, it is the feeling of actually finishing the piece that brings me the most joy. My mental illnesses include many things that distract me every day from finishing things I start. Every time I finish a piece, especially one I am proud of like this, it just brings me to a really calm mental state, which is hard for me to accomplish without art. Being able to focus on one thing at a time and black out all the stress of everyday life is so healing for me. I live through this 


6- Jimmy | In My Head | NFS
Mixed media on wood panel
Artist Statement: The negative self-talk plays on repeat in my head. They say it’s a thought error, a distorted view of myself, but to me, it’s the truth. This artwork is how I look at myself. What I see every day in the mirror. Creating this piece in art therapy, I found it helpful to get them out, put them down on something, and express the things I say to myself that no one hears. It was healing for me to be able to show others a small glimpse of my perspective. 


7- John H. | The Fight with Depression | NFS
Marker on canvas


8- Malcolm Daniel | Rage | NFS
Mixed media on wood panel
Artist Statement: Every day I live with auditory hallucinations, or voices, that torment me. They threaten and bully me, yet I have no control to make them stop. Rage is a self-expression of the anger I feel toward the voices that I keep bottled up inside me. I have a lot of fears that if I express my anger towards the voices, they will hurt me, or worse, I will hurt someone. In Art Therapy, I got to express my anger in a safe way. I learned that I don’t have to bottle my angry feelings. I got to have control over the anger towards the voices in making this art piece. I feel very impressed and accomplished. I had doubts that I would not be able to show enough skill and that I would make too many mistakes, but I learned that life is full of mistakes, just like my painting. My painting is full of mistakes, but I found they can be handled; I can handle my mistakes. I thought this piece was just about anger, but really it is so much more. It shows me that I don’t have to fear failing. With this painting I succeeded. 


9- Dayly | Dreams | NFS
Acrylic paint on canvas
Artist Statement: The feelings I expressed in my split self-portrait are what I am and what I want to be. It felt good to paint and communicate in a different way. Art helps me to see my thoughts on paper.  

See the Summit Artspace exhibit schedule for show details.
Have questions? Here is our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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