Artist Statement

There has been a significant rise in mental health issues among the adolescents of today’s society. Many of my friends and I have developed our own issues surrounding mental health. As a result, I became more concerned over the topic. Today’s generation of teens are more likely to face mental health issues than any other. A common symptom of teenage mental health is substance abuse. There is a correlation between both issues among approximately 2 million adolescents in the United States. There are still many who are currently undiagnosed with a mental health disorder making it very likely that the number of teenagers affected by both substance abuse and their mental health is much higher.


Unfortunately, our culture tends to treat substance consumption among teens solely as a sign of rebellion or misbehavior. This misconception steers us far from the fact that there is a high possibility that a teen engaging in substance consumption also struggles with a mental health issue. This generation of America’s youth is the first to truly explore and accept the complexities of mental health. Moving forward, this will carry us in a different direction than previous generations. A part of this transition is the acceptance of the severity and seriousness of mental health in teens and all of its factors. 


This collection of artwork takes its own course on exploring the complexities of the teenage mind. I believe that mental health can often be generalized, which can lead to a lack of understanding on the issue. The reality is that mental health is one of those things that will go unexplained and that’s okay. As someone who struggles with mental health, I’ve realized that I must grow to accept the fact that I may not be able to thoroughly voice my issues. Sometimes, I don’t need all the answers. The explosion of color and faceless figures in my art represents that realm of unknown. I wanted to include a sense of messiness in my piece to represent an unorganized mind. I also chose to include a portrait of myself to highlight the fact that you are not your mental health issue. You have the power to tame your struggle despite the fact that, at times, you may feel as the one being controlled. 


Kia Rogers

New York City, New York

The Project

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