The Vestaare Collective, a group of artists, illustrators, writers, musicians, film directors and designers, are offering a collection of children’s images, written and drawn by Cote, as part of a project to help raise awareness of the effects of mental illness on children and people with disabilities.
The collection of over 10,000 images is available on the Vestaaring Collective’s website.
“There are many more children suffering from mental illness than there are adults with it, so it’s really important to understand that children are still going through this,” Cote told CBC News in an interview from her home in Montreal.
“It’s not just a matter of, ‘Oh, I’m going to put up a collection for people to see.’
It’s a matter to be able to see it, to understand it, and to try to be as helpful as possible.”
Vestaaring has previously published a series of artworks depicting children with developmental disabilities, including a drawing by artist and child psychologist, Lillian A. Dickey, that she created for a children’s mental health charity.
The piece, which shows a boy in a wheelchair with a red and white ribbon wrapped around his neck, was published in 2014.
“We really felt like this was a place for children to go and find these images that they can go and see and be inspired by them,” said Cote.
“So it was really a way for us to create a safe space where kids could be safe, and that was really the point.”
She said the work has gone viral, with many of the images appearing on social media platforms, as well as on the website of the organization the Mental Health Advocacy Network.
“It’s really cool to see people responding to it, they are very happy and it’s a very interesting way to share this with the public,” said Dickey.
“And it’s been really uplifting to see the response that people have given it and the kind of conversations we’ve had.
People are so happy that it’s there, and it really is just a fantastic piece of art.”
The Vestaares collection has been translated into a number of languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
“The thing that I really loved about the work was that I knew it would be really easy to share it with other people who were struggling with mental health issues,” Cotes mother, Celine, said.
“And so I think it’s great to show people that they are not alone.”
Cote’s work, which has been featured in the magazine The Vetaare Collective in French, has been exhibited in various museums in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
“I love it, I love it,” said Erika Koehn, who curated the gallery that curated the work.
“I love the way the artist used so many different styles and colors to make it.
And it’s beautiful to see.”
The collection, which will be displayed in the Vetaaring Collective Gallery of Modern Art in Montreal, is being presented in a series by artist Mika A. Stöhrl, who also curated the works.
The work is currently available to purchase on the site of the Vedaare Collective and will be available through March.