Art\u2019s role in building a healthy community is at the center of the Silvermine Art Center\u2019s exhibition, \u201cHeART & Mind,\u201d on view Oct. 31 through Jan. 12, exploring art\u2019s healing power and acting as a catalyst for conversations on mental health and substance abuse issues. On Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m., Silvermine in New Canaan hosts an opening reception and keynote lecture by Cheryl Bundy, chaplain and spiritual counselor at Silver Hill Hospital. The lecture is one of many community programs and workshops in visual thinking, art, music and dance therapy offered in conjunction with the exhibition. \u201cWe believe that creativity can nurture and sustain lives worth living and we are emphasizing the fact that this is an art exhibition putting together works by an exceptionally talented array of artists,\u201d said Robin Jaffee Frank, director of the Silvermine Arts Center. The artists\u2019 work helps both artist and viewer to understand themselves and engage in a more authentic way with others, she noted. \u201cNot only does making art help us express our feelings and communicate and heal us but also by coming together to look at art, we encourage our visitors to explore their feelings, perception and imagination in response to works of art.\u201d Dealing with a variety of mental health issues, including trauma, anxiety and grief, the artists here are represented with works \u2014 ranging from photographs and mixed media paintings to sculpture \u2014 that express deeply personal issues they are processing. Yet, their art immediately resonates with many viewers. \u201cRobin and I selected works that express cognitive, emotional and compassionate empathy in dealing with the overall themes of this exhibit,\u201d said gallery director Roger Mudre, who curated the exhibition. \u201cEach of the works chosen expresses the artist\u2019s private journey and touch us all with their universal messages.\u201d Sculptor Susan Clinard and mixed-media artist Barbara Ringer delve into trauma, memory and recovery with their works. Artist Inez Andrucyk uses art as a lifeline to cope with grief after her son died from an opioid overdose. \u201cHope is born from the remembrance, joy and appreciation for all we have been given and what we have lost,\u201d Andrucyk wrote. \u201cRebirth is the development of new ideas and habits, while artmaking is a process towards renewal.\u201d Jay Petrow\u2019s paintings reflect his struggle to share his emotions and experiences as a parent of a child with autism while South African artist Tsoku Maela explores the stigma of mental illness in the black community through his photographs. \u201cIn society, we march for all types of illnesses and speak openly about them without prejudice or judgment,\u201d Maela writes in his artist\u2019s statement. \u201cI think it\u2019s time we spoke openly about anxiety, depression and mental illnesses too, without condemnation or belittling each other. We are all going through something, but you do not have to go through it alone. This body of work is a result of going to places I hate the most about myself and finding beauty there.\u201d For this exhibition, Janine Brown has created a fully immersive installation, \u201cThe Wallflower at the Dance,\u201d showing what isolation and life is often like for introverted people. \u201cWhen audiences enter the installation, I want them to feel what it might be like for an introverted person at a dance or in any public setting,\u201d Brown said. \u201cI hope that when they leave, the feelings that they have inside the room will perhaps bring understanding to the challenges that face people who are not extroverted or people who might feel isolated.\u201d Her installation of yarn, wire, wallpaper and mesh brings the \u201cwallflower\u201d to life by creating a surrealistic space in which she dances with the thoughts in her mind as tears hang above her, illustrating the weight of her emotions. Nash Nyon\u2019s layered encaustic paintings depicting images of spines and lungs share a painful chapter in her life through her husband\u2019s battle with lung cancer, which he ultimately lost. Other battles are equally painful. Veterans created the War is Trauma portfolio in a movement to halt the deployment of traumatized troops and afford service members and veterans the right to heal. One minimalist work says it best with a kneeling toy soldier above the inscription, \u201cThere\u2019s no such thing as a toy soldier.\u201d With one in five adults in the United States reportedly affected by mental health issues and depression on the rise among youth, the Silvermine is tapping into the New Canaan Community Foundation\u2019s community-wide campaign focusing on behavioral health to address oft-taboo conversation topics. \u201cOur exhibitions are springboards for conversations about socially relevant humanities ideas that affect our neighbors and those they love,\u201d Jaffee Frank said. The Silvermine Arts Center is located at 1037 Silvermine Road. For information, call 203-9669700, ext. 20, or visit silvermineart.org.