Artists break image barriers

Artists break image barriers Apr 13 2007 — The artwork on the wall may tell many stories, but beyond the images are people with their own stories to tell.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Mental Illness and Family Support and Information Centre presents a new art exhibition, Awakening the Spirit, in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre’s Coatcheck Gallery.

The art show and sale features works by 24 individuals living with mental health issues.
“This show celebrates the creativity of individuals living with mental illness and encourages everyone to explore their own personal talents. It invites everyone to look inside themselves and find a way to express their creativity and enhance their mental health,” said Dianne Hustler, family support coordinator with the Mental Illness and Family Support and Information Centre.

The artwork ranges from photographs, sculptures, paintings and other medium.

“This show serves as a reminder to everyone that people with mental illness live, work and create in our community,” said CMHA recreation therapist Susan Myhre.

“Art is an avenue of expression for many people including those who have a mental illness. It is a way to touch other people, it can be part of a healing process or just something that brings the artist pleasure.”

With financial assistance from Interior Health and the government of B.C., the Mental Illness and Family Support and Information Centre serves families affected by all serious and persistent mental illness, provides education and support to families, and works to promote community acceptance of mental illness.

The CMHA exists to promote the health of British Columbians and support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.

“One in five of us will have a mental illness at some point in our lives so mental illness affects all of us whether we ourselves have an illness like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia or we have a family member or a friend who does,” said Hustler.

Awakening the Spirit in the Coatcheck Gallery (lower lobby in the Performing Arts Centre) is available for viewing by ticket holders one hour before a performance and during intermissions. The public is also invited to view artwork for this exhibition Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The show runs to May 30.
Midsummer’s Night, graphite pencil sketch by Suzanne Drolet, is exhibited in Awakening the Spirit at the Coatcheck Gallery in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.
By Morning Star Staff

For more information, contact Susan Myhre at 542-3114.

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