NAMI shares artistic talents at show

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Ian Gronau | November 19, 2013

ELKHORN — It's widely accepted that exercising our creative faculties can have strong therapeutic benefits. And as Adam Hoekstra, vice president of Walworth County NAMI Inc., will tell you, people suffering from mental illness are no exception.

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On Wednesday, Nov. 20, members of the Walworth County National Alliance on Mental Illness Inc. consumer support group will have an opportunity to come together and share their unique artwork with one another and anyone else interested in the creative process.

“We started the program last year when we had a little show-and-tell type thing where everyone brought some type of art that they created or appreciated,” Hoekstra said. “Several people read poetry, played music or showed paintings and drawings.

“We try to look for the connection between the feelings someone experiences when they plan to make some artwork, actually do it and when it's done, or how someone else's art moves them. We had a great turnout last time and this year will be great too; we have about nine people presenting.”

The event, Healing Through Creativity, is free and open to the public and will feature poetry readings, paintings, musical demonstrations, drawings and mixed media works, either created or selected by members of the local consumer support group. 

“We find that the folks we work with in NAMI have some real talents, probably the one thing that they have a lack of is socializing and expressing what their talents are,” said Walworth County NAMI Inc. President Dan Poulson. “This event was dreamed up a few years ago and this is our second run. It gives our consumers a chance to stand up and present what their talents are, whether it's music or art or poetry or reading or whatever they do, and at the same time talk to us about how they feel when they do it and what causes them to want to do it.”

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