Diagnosed with a mental illness six months after graduating from Montana State University, Kelsey Weyerbacher found herself an artistic feminist living in conservative Eastern Montana. From that space was born Ms. Melancholy, a digital collage series intended to be drafts for a future fabric arts series to communicate her emotional state in a place where she felt an outsider following the election of President Trump.
With layers of women, landscapes, words, and other items, Weyerbacher constructs pieces to express her thoughts, feelings, opinions, and frustrations, choosing to manifest them in a tangible state in form of therapy, rather than internalizing them in a destructive manner. Highlighted throughout are poems and images representative of the relationship that ended in that time period, the job she was laid off of, and the struggle to regain her sense of identity amidst a diagnosis that would change not only her daily activities, but the trajectory of her life plans.
Ms. Melancholy is intended to promote conversation surrounding mental health in particular, as Montana’s suicide rates continue to climb and our resources for those living with mental illness fail to improve. The artist advocates for public awareness and self-care, encouraging each of us to find positive outlets to communicate our inner struggles.