After I posted my last blog about Bring Change 2 Mind’s mission to fight stigma and discrimination associated with mental illlness, I received an email from a friend about a unique art gallery in Portland, Oregon that shows the work of artists who are challenged with a mental illness.
J. Pepin Art Gallery features contemporary artists who are reframing the perception of mental illness. Along with their works, each artist shares their creative journey and how having a mental illness plays a role.
Jennifer Pepin, owner of the gallery, has bipolar illness and has experienced the prejudice that exists against the mentally ill. An artist herself, Pepin decided to develop the gallery to give people an opportunity to share their work and stories to show the beauty that can come from having a brain disorder. Her hope is that her gallery will empower artists to tell their story in their unique way and that it will inspire people to look at mental health in a different way.
Being mentally ill does not have to be viewed as a negative thing. Many famous people have been challenged over time with a mental illness: Michelangelo, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Percy Shelley suffered from bipolar illness as well as Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollack, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Wolff, and Eugene O’Neill. More recently, Ted Turner, broadcast journalist, Jane Smiley, musicians Peter Gabriel and Axl Rose, and the actors Carrie Fisher, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears have been diagnosed with the illness.
J. Pepin Art Gallery shows artists who are successful talented people leading productive lives and enriching our world with their art. Pepin writes, “We are dedicated to supporting like-minded artists and creating awareness to inspire change. Working together we can transform the landscape of mental health to be one of hope, dreams, and believing in a more accepting world.”
The gallery supports Bring Change 2 Mind with 10% of all sales its artwork. Check out this innovative gallery.