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Four brightly painted triangle trees sit in a museum on top of soft white fabric covered in glitter. The center tree is the largest and on top is a bright yellow star. On the tree is the phrase "it's okay not to be okay" hand lettered in bright and vibrant colors. On the right flanks two smaller triangle trees, both brightly colored. On the left is one smaller, brightly colored triangle tree. Each tree is edged with a light blue wood that give the trees an extra dimension.
Four brightly painted triangle trees sit in a museum on top of soft white fabric covered in glitter. The center tree is the largest and on top is a bright yellow star. On the tree is the phrase "it's okay not to be okay" hand lettered in bright and vibrant colors. On the right flanks two smaller triangle trees, both brightly colored. On the left is one smaller, brightly colored triangle tree. Each tree is edged with a light blue wood that give the trees an extra dimension.
In the middle of painting and creating the four holiday trees for the Museum of Arts and Sciences Macon. On the work table you'll see four smaller trees covered in splashes of warm and bright colors. In the background is the main tree, also covered in abstract lines and dots in bright colors.
Mama Hawk Draws's two assistants paint light and dark pink shapes on the raw wood of the triangle tree for Macon's Museum of Arts and Science Festival of Trees.
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Four brightly painted triangle trees sit in a museum on top of soft white fabric covered in glitter. The center tree is the largest and on top is a bright yellow star. On the tree is the phrase "it's okay not to be okay" hand lettered in bright and vibrant colors. On the right flanks two smaller triangle trees, both brightly colored. On the left is one smaller, brightly colored triangle tree. Each tree is edged with a light blue wood that give the trees an extra dimension.
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Four brightly painted triangle trees sit in a museum on top of soft white fabric covered in glitter. The center tree is the largest and on top is a bright yellow star. On the tree is the phrase "it's okay not to be okay" hand lettered in bright and vibrant colors. On the right flanks two smaller triangle trees, both brightly colored. On the left is one smaller, brightly colored triangle tree. Each tree is edged with a light blue wood that give the trees an extra dimension.
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, In the middle of painting and creating the four holiday trees for the Museum of Arts and Sciences Macon. On the work table you'll see four smaller trees covered in splashes of warm and bright colors. In the background is the main tree, also covered in abstract lines and dots in bright colors.
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mama Hawk Draws's two assistants paint light and dark pink shapes on the raw wood of the triangle tree for Macon's Museum of Arts and Science Festival of Trees.

Festival of Trees Portable Mural

It's okay not to be okay

With the opportunity to create a tree for the Festival of Trees at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, I wanted to use the chance to not only showcase my artwork, but to use my voice to amplify an issue that is important to me—mental health.

So let's talk about mental health. 1 and 4 adults have mental health issues.* During the holiday season, stress, anxiety, and depression can be seen at a higher rate. 2020 has also been an extremely difficult year for everyone. We have been dealing with a global pandemic, a toxic political climate, racial injustice being at an all time high, and our economy being at an all time low. Just one of these issues can be overwhelming to anyone and currently, we have them stacked on top of each other.

It is important to remember that it's okay not to be okay and you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed. There is hope. There is help.

Mental health professionals and resources can be used to understand and better manage your reactions to stressors in your life. Asking for help is not showing weakness, rather it is showing your internal strength.

As a community we need to normalize talking about mental health issues, recognizing the signs, and being there for one another—now more than ever.

Local resources

National resources