According to Spectrum ArtWorks program manager (and local print artist) Amy Rice, one in four families in the United States is affected by mental illness. With a number so high, why is the stigma attached to individuals living with mental health issues still so great? Though mental illness may be a heavy label to wear, those who know people who struggle should understand that it is only one small part of many that make up a person. That is the premise behind "Living Beyond," a show featuring artists with mental health issues who transcend negativity and live full lives—showing at other galleries not focused on mental illness, working as advocates, and participating in the community as a whole. Many of the pieces featured explore the isolation of mental illness (exacerbated by society), including Christi Furnas's Fading, an image of a tired woman disappearing from the world she walks in, and Lynnda Jones's drawing of children playing on the fringes of a city. More hopeful images suggest eventual recovery, such as Brad Parson's A Bird in Hand—as water pours from a cupped hand, a swan emerges from a blooming flower.
Dec. 6-30, 2007
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