We Rise is a 10-day pop-up event in Los Angeles that raises awareness for mental health.
It runs from May 18 to 27 at 1262 Palmetto Street.
Ashley Lukashevsky is an Echo Park artist featured in the gallery during the We Rise experience.
“I want people to round this corner and look at my piece and feel like they really have the opportunity to love their bodies and love themselves,” said Lukashevsky.
Lukashevsky started off as a graphic designer. The election stirred up a lot of emotions in her though. She’s been a politically driven, professional artist for two years now focusing on social justice.
She participated in We Rise last year as well. Her piece this year is rooted in her experiences growing up.
“I remember getting stretch marks for the first time, for example, and feeling like I was alone in that and feeling ugly in that way because I didn’t see a lot of depictions of people with stretch marks or people with imperfect skin,” said Lukashevsky.
She is one of more than 150 contributing artists.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health sponsors the event. Deputy director Mimi Martinez McKay is busy during these final few days of preparation.
“This matters because everyone is touched by mental health issues. There is no family, there is no one that is not touched by the issues that we’re going to be addressing here," said Martinez McKay.
In all the panels and activities there’s a special push to reach 14 to 24-year-olds. Martinez McKay said this is when serious mental illness starts to manifest. If you know what signs to look for, you can do something about it quickly.
If left untreated, mental illness can be a corrosive thing. Martinez McKay estimates a fifth of the homeless in Los Angeles County suffers from serious mental illness.
For the 10 days of We Rise, attendees can learn what kind of help is available.
We Rise is free and open to everyone.