Organization Using Art to Pioneer New Frontiers

Mind Forward Brain Injury Services is partnering with The Artis magazine to promote the work of local artists and pioneering new frontiers with brain injury in the art world.

On Thursday, Feb. 1, Mind Forward Brain Injury Services presented Art Rewired from the Creative Hemisphere: A Spotlight Event, featuring the work of individuals who have been affected by brain injury.

Mind Forward, formerly known as Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services, is a non-profit charitable organization that provides community based rehabilitation and support for adults with brain injury and their families.

Established in 1992, the organization is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Central West LHIN.

Approximately 400 clients, including family members, receive support through the organization through a variety of groups that offer: anger management, depression support, self-esteem support, exercise and fitness and social/recreational experiences.

The exhibit, which was held at The Waterside Inn in Mississauga, featured artwork from brain injury clients: Alex Nielsen, Laurence Hutchman, Eva Kolacz, Ronnie O’Byrne, Nav Gurm and Frank Veri.

Fabio Do Couto, a spokesperson from Mind Forward Brain Injury Services, says art plays an important role in brain injury therapy. Research shows that creativity does not diminish when there is a brain injury, and creativity is often enhanced.

“The artwork was selected based on its quality and not because it was done by brain injury clients,” Do Couto adds. “That’s the key thing here.”

The event also featured The Artis’ third edition The Anatomy of Art issue. The magazine showcases established artists and up-and-coming talent in the 905 community.

The spotlight of the issue will focus on the Group of Four, a group of exceptional artists using their talents to break the stigma of brain injury and advocate for social change, says Do Couto.

These individuals have used their art as a means of expressing their emotional and physical journeys on their roads to recovery and rehabilitation. Do Couto says they hope Thursday’s event will open doors to more art therapy programming for Mind Forward Brain Injury Services.