"Dream Closer" by Peng Wu, artist-in-residence at the Weisman Art Museum

Minnesota Futures Award Supports ‘Creative Camp’ Research for Adolescent Mental Health

Summer 2022

The Creativity Camp, a two-week intervention, will look at participants’ brains before, during and after camp to understand how creative interventions might impact cognitive flexibility and changes in their condition. They plan to have three cohorts of 10 campers each, for a total of 30 randomized adolescent participants in the summer of 2022.


Counterspaces: BIPOC Pasts, Presents, and Futures in Medicine

Oct 1, 2021

Counterspaces: Bipoc Pasts, Presents, and Futures in Medicine, is a workshop dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space for those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC, including those claiming multi-racial identities) in the medical and health services communities. This two-hour workshop will be a space for community members to reflect, express, and share their own stories through creative writing and poster making and will be led by DR. ANGIE MEJIA (sociologist) and YUKO TANIGUCHI (poet).

Creative Contemplation of Rest

Creative Contemplation of Rest

Oct 20, 2019

How do you rest? What helps you fall asleep? Sleep is vital to our well-being, but rest can be quite complicated. Join Yuko and Peng Wu as they contemplate sleep through art, poetry, and naps.

Creative Contemplation of Rest is a three-part series, with each program focusing on a different aspect of the collaborators’ research.

More Information about the Project

Statement: Contemplation of Rest is a collaborative project that was originally performed at the Weisman Art Museum.  The unique collaboration between Yuko Taniguchi (poet), and Peng Wu (visual artist) invited us to contemplate on how we rest and sleep through poetry. This film was created in the collaboration with Laura Vail (filmmaker) to capture this contemplation, allowing participants to reflect on their bodies and minds through Yuko’s poems.  

Collaborating Artist: 

Laura Vail (Film) Laura Vail is a writer and filmmaker in St. Paul, MN. She lives and works at the intersection of science and art, drawing on her background in neuroscience and photography. As a professional in the mental health field, she is dedicated to exploring the restorative nature of art and how imagination creates space for hope. Her films, like visual poems, elicit deep emotional responses through aesthetic experience. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Peng Wu (Title Animation, Daydream Chapel) Peng wu is a design activist and an interdisciplinary artist dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, modern medicine and health, environmental sustainability. He previously worked for the University of Minnesota as an independent researcher and artist in residency at Weisman Art Museum on the art of sleep. Since the residency, multiple collaborations with the Medical School of UMN have been funded with the goal of bringing humanity into the medical research community to envision the hospital of future as a place for healing. 2019-2020, he is involved in designing the the Second National Symposium of Habitability to investigate what makes a place feel like home – in a different country or on a different planet.  He holds two master’s degrees in product design and sculpture and bachelor’s degree in physics.  He co-founded CarryOn Homes – the artists collective investigating the experience of global migration. Since 2017, CarryOn Homes has created large public art commision through Creative City Challenge program, and in close collaboration with Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum for various projects. 

Walk Back to Your Body

Walk Back to Your Body

Sept 23, 2019

Yuko Taniguchi and her collaborator, psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Cullen, explore the impact of creative practices on the wellbeing of adolescents facing pressing mental health challenges. Her resultant poem, Walk Back To Your Body, also synthesizes her own experiences of collaboration with those of the other artists in the Art and Health program.

Begin with Pieces

Begin with Pieces

Nov, 2018

Writer Yuko Taniguchi and psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Cullen explore the impact of the creative process on adolescents facing mental health challenges and how creative work can make the interpersonal communication between caregivers and patients more meaningful.

The Workshop

Photos courtesy of Boris Oicherman