Graduate exhibition focuses on erasing taboo on mental illness, depression

Dontay Farley

STATESBORO, Ga.—Dontay Farley’s Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition “Millions Like Me” will be on view in the Center for Art and Theatre’s University Gallery from Feb. 12-19. A reception will be held Friday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m.

Through a collection of posters, billboards and other graphic design mediums, Farley uses this exhibition as design activism to create awareness about depression and mental illness. Using the simple things in life as an inspiration, Farley’s artwork aims to encourage kindness and compassion through words of encouragement and acts of goodwill.

“As a graphic designer, I understand that I cannot cure mental illness or rid the world of depression, but I can create awareness,” said Farley. “Instead of designing to show the problem and the statistics associated with mental illness, my work focuses on solutions that help decrease depression, such as support, encouragement, patience and positive human interaction.”

He uses his artwork as a way to make a connection with the public and alter the way people think. Utilizing greens and blues in his artwork, Farley uses these colors to convey unity and nature, which are necessary elements to move on from depression to being mentally secured.

The use of space in Farley’s design is to portray new opportunities or beginnings, while it can also be seen in an unfavorable way by the absence of decorative elements so the message can be obvious to viewers.

“Dontay’s design work is important in that it not only highlights or explores problems but is not afraid to propose possible solutions,” says BFSDoArt Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “It is too easy to focus on problems without looking for a way out, without reframing the context in which the problem arose. Dontay has explored these issues from a variety of vantage points over the duration of his studies here at Georgia Southern, and the insight of his ideas, combined with the strength of his graphic design talents, should make for a very compelling and thought-provoking exhibition.”

All events are free and the public is invited to attend.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 142 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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Center for Art & Theatre • 233 Pittman Drive, Statesboro, Georgia, 30460 • Exhibitions & performances are open to the public.