And the winner is...

You weighed in.... and the votes are tallied! Here are the winners of the Healing art show 2015 artist awards.

 

ARTISTS' CHOICE

WINNER: Samantha Espinosa, Takania (Right)

I love art. It allows me to express myself and create beautiful and interesting pieces for everyone to enjoy.
— Samantha Espinosa
 
 

RUNNER UP: Jed T. Dietenberger, The Devil In Jedidiah (Left)

Self expression, unfortunately, continues to be problematic with the singular exception of my art work. Creativity enables me to open up, to share the light in my darkness. Starting out as something guarded and personal, it has evolved into a passion that can rarely be contained.
— Jed T. Dietenberger

 

OTHER FINALISTS:
Bev K. Kout, Aunt Velma
Jimmy Yanny, Masked Booby
Karen Boer, Fox Kit


BEST USE OF COLOR

WINNER: Mackenzie Allyn Farrell, Untitled (right)

I run a young adult recreation and recovery group and I also teach an art class at a recovery day center. Art has been a huge source of inspiration for me throughout my recovery journey, not just the visual arts but music and poetry as well. I find that painting allows me to enter into the present moment and brings me great joy.
— Mackenzie Allyn Farrell

RUNNER UP: Pita, Some Healing Music (left)

I manage my mental health with many 12-step meetings, regular contact with my sponsor and a healthy lifestyle of food in weighed and measured amounts, avoiding triggers, healthy activities with my family and friends, staying fit and daily medication. I paint at least three times a week and share an art studio with a young man I mentor who has his own mental health challenges. I seek gratitude and reverence for life.
— Pita

OTHER FINALISTS:
Kathy, Place of Peace
Brenda Neuman, Spotted Life Daisy
Jeanie McNeel, As I Saw
Jimmy  Yanny, Masked Booby


BEST USE OF ART TO EVOKE EMOTION

WINNER: Tori Cavanaugh, HOPE (right)

I had not done art on my own for a long time. In the past year I picked up paint and found how freeing and relaxing it was. Then I got inspired by a quote, and now make my art as a healing process that I want to share because it inspires me. I want to be able to personalize and sell quote/art boards to others. It has become a passion again and very healing to have it be a part of my life.
— Tori Cavanaugh
 

 

 

OTHER FINALISTS:
Bobbi L. Rieboldt, Isolation
Lioba Casey, Wounded Soul
Susan C. Mader, Nelda

 

RUNNER UP: Kelly Lingen Mahieu, Demons (left)

Part of my mission in life is to help erase the stigma that goes along with mental illness through my artwork. I want to help others by creating inspirational pieces of art that feature positive messages.... something to help another who might be struggling with pain similar to my own. Mental illnesses are so widely misunderstood and I hope that my artwork might help change this. I used to view my bipolar disorder as a monster. Now I see it as a beautiful, fantastical creature that has made me the creative, compassionate, empathetic person I am today.
— Kelly Lingen Mahieu

MOST INVENTIVE PIECE

WINNER: Kate, Learning to Feel (Right)

Kate lives with anxiety and depression and was in and out of the hospital. In her time at FOCUS at Rogers Memorial Hospital, she learned the power of art and recreational therapy. Since her time at FOCUS she has incorporated Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy skills into everyday life.
 

RUNNER UP: Connections Counseling Art Therapy Group, Transformation (Left)

We have gone through changes in many aspects of our lives throughout the years. However, as we overcame one unhealthy behavior, often others take its place. We have found ourselves in a never ending cycle that numbed ourselves in order to cope with difficulties. We have been gaining a greater self awareness through our time at Connections- DBT, art therapy, support groups and a period of sobriety, where we have been allowing ourselves to actually feel our feelings and not hide from them. It has not been easy, but we have gained strength and found ourselves in a true transformation. A caterpillar cocoons itself to turn into a butterfly. Even on our worst days, we know that all the progress we have made and the strength that we have gained cannot be taken away from us.
— Connections Counseling Art Therapy Group

OTHER FINALISTS: 
Bobbi L. Rieboldt, Mess
Lawrence Huck, But I Think I Know When It's A Dream
Busy Bee, Happy, The Psychedelic Musical Gourd


BEST CHOICE OF SUBJECT MATTER

WINNER: Todd Scharrer, Contemplation (Right)

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder about 3.5 years ago. You could say that I’ve been on the path of recovery since then— and art has played an invaluable role in my recovery. I often tell people it has saved my life. Is it therapeutic?? Yes- of course. But it is much more than that for me. I find that when I’m lost in a drawing, a study or painting, I find myself. It is my connection to reality, to truth.
— Todd Scharrer
 

RUNNER UP: Kate, Learning To Feel (Left)
 

Kate lives with anxiety and depression and was in and out of the hospital. In her time at FOCUS at Rogers Memorial Hospital, she learned the power of art and recreational therapy. Since her time at FOCUS she has incorporated Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy skills into everyday life.


OTHER FINALISTS:
Bev K. Kout, Aunt Velma
Lioba Casey, Wounded Soul
K. M. De Bruyne, Tread Swiftly Tread Lightly


BEST IN SHOW

WINNER: Jeanie McNeel, As I Saw (Right)

Art work, music and nature and writing especially have really helped me express myself in a positive and healthy way. They have really been a sign of accomplishment to help me cope, express myself and give me a sense of purpose. The arts have taken me in directions I never would have dreamed of.
— Jeanie McNeel
 

RUNNER UP: Mackenzie Allyn Farrell, Untitled (Left)

I run a young adult recreation and recovery group and I also teach an art class at a recovery day center. Art has been a huge source of inspiration for me throughout my recovery journey, not just the visual arts but music and poetry as well. I find that painting allows me to enter into the present moment and brings me great joy.
— Mackenzie Allyn Farrell

OTHER FINALISTS:
Hanna Bruer, Fear And Affectation
Todd Scharrer, Sax Player
Kelly Lingen Mahieu, Demons


About The Healing Art Show

Each year, NAMI Wisconsin hosts the Healing Art Show as a part of Mental Illness Awareness Week in October. The show features the works of local artists with mental illness who creatively express themselves through various forms of art. The purpose of the Healing Art Show is to break down stigma surrounding mental illness. By showcasing the artistic works created by people with mental illness we want to highlight the creative talents and personal strengths that far overshadow any mental illness. Art will be on display at VSA Wisconsin for the months of October and November!