Burlington High School art installation inspires reflection on mental well-being

Local News

A new art installation was unveiled at downtown Burlington High School on Wednesday with the aim of helping students’ mental well-being.  

“Radiant Thought,” is an immersive light and sound installation created by Vermont artist Clay Mohrman. Mohrman said one of the goals of the piece was to approach meditation in a non-traditional way. 

“I was really inspired by meditation in the sense of it wanting to be a full body experience,” Mohrman said. “So something where you were completely engaged in the sculpture” 

Now BHS students are thrilled it is in their school.

“We never had a place to pray in all our schools,” Najama Ahmed said. “I am thankful to have this place to pray to,”

After the last 15 months, many students have been dealing with stress. “That could be regarding grades, or worrying about your future, and colleges,” Safiya Ibrahim said. 

David Rettew, medical director of the Child and Family Division at the Vermont Department of Mental Health, said he understands their concerns.

“I think meditation is one of the most useful ways you can use that time to sort of bring yourself back to center and be able to think through what happened,” Rettew said. 

Mohrman wanted to create a space that was pro mental health. 

“Pro relaxation, taking a moment away from the grind and kind of reconnecting with yourself is really at the core of what this piece aims to do for the public,” Mohrman said.

Lise Bruder, a Burlington High School counselor said they have seen an uptick in students asking for additional support.

“This will provide another tool for them to also do some self regulating, they can step into the space and calm all of their senses,” Bruder said. 

Students said they will take full advantage of this room.

“I just felt like it was a really nice pause if you are having a stressful school day,” AJ Scully, BHS student said. 

The Onda Foundation covered the cost of the installation.

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