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Keeping you informed of events, news and resources
concerning Mental Health




March 13, 2006

615.532.6597 (Office)
615.305.7661 (Cell)


Celebrating the Works of Tennesseans In Recovery

NASHVILLE — An exhibit of more than 50 pieces of art displayed at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza on March 10 - 31, 2006, Art for Awareness represents the talent of Tennesseans living with mental illness and substance abuse disorders who are on the road to recovery. The works represent a broad spectrum of art mediums and contain pieces by several nationally known artists, such as Anne Ambrose of Nashville and Daniel Hepburn of Crossville.

The Art for Awareness collection was originally assembled for Mental Illness Awareness Week in October of 2005. The Legislative Plaza exhibit is sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), the Tennessee Arts Commission (with support from the National Endowment for the Arts) and the Metropolitan Arts Commission. Many of the works have been exhibited across Tennessee in libraries, private art galleries, and mental health centers such as the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Cooperative in Nashville.

“It is important and special that these organizations have come together in support of this exhibit. I am so pleased that these works are on display for the public to enjoy.” stated TDMHSAS Commissioner Virginia Trotter Betts. “Many people do not realize that several of history’s greatest artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Georgia O'Keeffe suffered from mental illness.”

In addition to works on display in the central hallway of the Tennessee Legislative Plaza, Governor Bredesen, Commissioner Betts, and several members of the Tennessee General Assembly will select works to display in their offices through the end of May, which is nationally recognized as Mental Health Month.

According to Jane Baxter, co-chair for the Middle Tennessee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition, “The creation and appreciation of art is something all people have in common. For these artists, it is truly uplifting to have their talent recognized. The pride and self respect that comes from this exhibition is tremendous and will encourage the artists in spite of a brain disorder to continue on their journey to recovery.”

The entrance to the exhibit is located at the corner of Union and Sixth Avenue North and is handicapped accessible. The exhibit is free, and the Legislative Plaza is open during normal business hours, Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For more information about mental illness and substance abuse call the Middle Tennessee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition in Nashville at (615) 463-6665. For additional information on Mental Health and other related department and community events visit the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services online at