Barbara Cole: Awarded Give an Hour Commitment to Service Award

Above: Barbara Cole accepting the Commitment to Service Award at the Global Mental Health Summit. New York City, USA. Image courtesy of Give an Hour®.

Bau-Xi Gallery congratulates acclaimed photographer, Barbara Cole, on receiving the Give an Hour Commitment to Service Award at the Global Mental Health Summit. Awarded earlier this month in New York City, the Commitment to Service Award recognizes outstanding individuals who use their platform to further the conversation around mental health. This past October, Cole participated in the #ChangeDirection Jam, hosting a conversation about creativity and mental health.

As a passionate mental health activist, Cole uses her artistic practice to help end the stigma around mental health and empower those afflicted to rise up, take back power and lead the way. Cole's service to mental health awareness stretches past advocacy and into her artistic practice. Never has this been more evident than in her most recent series, Surfacing. Surfacing, debuted at Bau-Xi Gallery earlier this fall, represents triumph, survival, and self-actualization. It is a series of photographs of rising, shimmering figures against the enigmatic backdrop of the ocean. This series, fueled by Cole’s own history with mental health and battle with depression, is an ode to the power of will and strength to overcome.

"I was honored to accept the Give an Hour Commitment to Service Award and to participate in an insightful roundtable on mental health. My deepest wish is to help and support others who face the same struggles and triumphs that we all experience every day. Art was instrumental in saving my life. Art gave me a voice and a place to safely explore my feelings. To be able to share my art and my journey with you all is one of my greatest honors. Thank you to Give an Hour and Change Direction and to everyone helping to make a difference no matter how big or how small." - Barbara Cole

Give an Hour is a national non-profit organization from the United States, founded in 2005 with the mission to face and address and many challenges facing society. Discussions around mental health are at the forefront.

View the full Surfacing collection here.

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