The Crystal Cairn Art Gallery
Organized by: Lizzie Lukens Conrad
It's the stereotype of the crazy artist- the intensely creative individual, brooding, fighting off their own inner demons. Actually, it's not that far from the truth. Smart people have studied this and discovered that those with mental illness tend to be more creative than your typical joe. The Crystal Cairn is the place where art and mental illness collide. I myself am a painter, singer, and writer who has struggled with bipolar disorder. Even though 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness sometime in their lives, the stigma is still there- no one wants to talk about it. The media tends to present us as unhinged mass murderers, ready to snap at any moment. Actually, I'm a pretty nice person. Most of the people I know who have been diagnosed with a mental illnesses are pretty decent people too- we are just afraid to talk about it, afraid of what you will think of us. And some of us are just darn artsy folk. My vision for The Crystal Cairn is to have an art gallery devoted to the work of those that struggle with mental illness. Through this I will give artists an opportunity to show off who we really are- some of the torments, some of the beauty. By putting faces to mental illness we can begin to break through the stigma and be real. I have ideas for workshops and some kind of venue for the writers out there, but that will come later. I would like to donate a portion of all my proceeds to NAMI to continue their efforts to serve those affected by mental illness. I have a place I am interested in renting. I am asking for enough funds to cover my deposit and three months rent. From there, I can add funds through my part time job until the gallery becomes self sustaining through sales of artwork, donations, and classes. Thank you for considering my project- I hope you will choose to support us crazy artists!