Art exhibit showcases work of mental illness survivors

AUGUST 30, 2006
THE BEACON NEWS (Aurora, Illinois

Beginning Friday, the Aurora Public Art Commission presents the Awakenings Project, an exhibit of work by artists who are survivors of mental illness.


Queen of Fools by Trish Evers


The exhibit, which features more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs, is part of an ongoing series of shows curated by artist Irene O'Neill. Awakenings represents a coalition of more than 20 artists who have exhibited widely throughout the state of Illinois and beyond.

"The mission of the Awakenings project is to assist persons with mental health issues in developing and enhancing their creative abilities through art in all its forms, and to raise public awareness of the creative talents and contributions of people living with psychiatric disorders." O'Neill said. "By engaging in this activity we hope that we and our contributors will benefit in our recovery, and that our viewers will better understand the creative capacity and overall potential of persons living with mental ill health."

Bodies of Work

The Awakenings Group is participating in Bodies of Work, the Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture. On Sunday, April 30th, Awakenings artists will hold a panel discussion with Q & A from the audience in the Aurora Public Art Commission's 3rd floor gallery.

A sign language interpreter will be available from noon until 4 p.m. for anyone with hearing impairments. A descriptionist will be available to describe artwork for persons with visual impairments beforehand from noon until 2 p.m. The gallery will be open from noon-4 p.m.

The Awakenings Project will be on display until May 28, 2006.

The Awakenings Project website can be viewed at:

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