The Wintergreen Arts Center is participating in Mental Health Month with a celebration of the life and art of Alan Mountain (1956 – 2015). 

A reception will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, during the First Friday Downtown Art Walk.  A gallery talk, “The Artist and Mental Illness,” will be led by Alice Bolstridge, the artist’s mother, at 6:45 pm.  Music for the reception is provided by PIBQ and light refreshments will be served.

Wintergreen Arts Center

All proceeds from sales of art work and the book, Oppression for the Heaven of It, will be donated equally to Wintergreen Arts Center and Catholic Charities. The book, a collaboration between Alan and Alice, won the 2013 Kenneth Patchen Award for Experimental Fiction.  For more information, please visit https://moorebowen.wordpress.com/about/

May is Mental Health Month” was started 67 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions. Clinical terms for mental illnesses or disorders often don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. That is why this year’s theme for Mental Health Month – “Life with a Mental Illness”—is a call to action to share what the experience of mental illness is like for someone going through it.

“Sharing is the key to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illnesses so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need,” said Alice.  “Celebrating Alan’s life and art is an opportunity to raise awareness in the community and with those who may be living with mental illness. His art offers a window into his experience of mental illness, and also into his abilities and creativity. Talents of people diagnosed with mental disorders too often go unrecognized.”

Alice Bolstridge, a retired English teacher and native of Portage Lake, currently lives in Presque Isle.  She holds a PhD in English Literature, Oklahoma State University, 1987, MA in English, University of Maine, Orono, 1982, BS in Education, University of Maine, Presque Isle, 1970. She is credited with more than 100 publications of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in a wide variety of literary magazines and anthologies; and, has received writing prizes from Maine Senior College Network, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and Passager Magazine.

For more information on “May is Mental Health Month,” visit Mental Health America’s website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.