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Art of Kindness

Kindness Post-it notes at 2021 event.

Artists Explore the Science of Empathy

Since 2019, the Art of Kindness has summoned emerging artists to explore the neuroscience of empathy. Hosted by the Center for BrainHealth, the event celebrates World Kindness Day with a contest for college-aged artists, conducted in collaboration with the UT Dallas School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) and the UTD Department of Computer Science (CS).

During the awards ceremony, friends and family enjoy an art exhibition, opportunities to learn about the neuroscience of kindness, and discussions exploring how empathy, kindness and neuroscience are reflected in the creations of selected finalists.

Check back for more information on the next Art of Kindness, planned for November 2022.

THANK YOU BANK OF TEXAS for continued support of the Art of Kindness in 2022!


Culture of Value Micro-grant Fuels Second Annual Art of Kindness Competition

2020 Art of Kindness competition will apply grant funding towards developing an open educational resource about computer science, arts and brain health.

Creative Minds Merge Art and Science

When the brain is stimulated through empathy and compassion, that's where the red and blue come from, it expands the sphere of influence that can bring some joy and happiness.

Artist Rian McBride, describing Anterior Expanding, a commentary on global feelings of fatigue and animus and how kindness can elevate happiness and mindset.

This process of disclosure, exploration, unearthing things that we haven't seen before but have actually been dormant for a very long time led me to my artistic concept word – discovery.

Artist Christina Kovacs, discussing The Other Side of the Mirror, an abstracted representation of how mirror neurons help create a deeper sense of empathy.

I learned the reward system is how being kind to others allows you to receive positive feelings or dopamine in your brain that motivates you to be kind again.

Artist Emily Willingham, sharing the inspiration for Mental Growth After Isolation, which applies color, symbolism and dynamics to explore the reward system's ability to transform feelings of isolation.

Past Winners

Art of Kindness 2021 attendees viewing one the finalist pieces.

2021 Winners

The 2021 Art of Kindness demonstrated tremendous growth, attracting over 150 submissions. The event inspired a record number of local, college-aged artists to generate "meaningful insights about how practicing kindness has real implications for promoting a healthy brain," according to organizer Dr. Julie Fratantoni.

One of the 2020 Art of Kindness winners: a photograph titled Isolation, by artist Neda Ghassemi. The image shows a young person alone in a field, smoke looming in the background, as they look into a large framed portrait of a happy family.

2020 Winners

Hosted virtually, the second annual Art of Kindness event and competition featured artwork from ten finalists who applied the neuroscience of kindness to reflect upon their recent COVID experiences. A panel of interdisciplinary judges selected three winners, with virtual attendees voting to determine an additional People's Choice Award.

2019 Art of Kindness Finalists in Q4, 2019. Page 3.

2019 Winners

The inaugural Art of Kindness event featured nine finalists, all burgeoning young artists from Dallas schools. The group met at the Center for BrainHealth to share creations inspired by selected readings on youth-focused neuroscience topics, like how emotions affect brain activity and how people of all ages develop empathy.