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Creating Art for Mental Health

Posted on September 25, 2019 in Peninsula

About the Art

Anyone who has used art as a creative outlet to relieve stress knows it can be therapeutic. Art therapy is just one of the methods used at Peninsula Hospital with patients facing mental health issues. Art can often help patients deal with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief or other life challenges in a constructive and creative way.

2018 Art of Healing Calendar.
Each year a calendar is produced showcasing Artsclamation! artists’ work. The calendars sell for $10.

Hugh Bailey with patron at the 2018 show.

Jewelry from the 2018 show. PAstel of lady in pink dress taking a photograph. Marguerite Hogan and Missy Sanford.

Artsclamation! is Peninsula’s only fundraiser, held annually for the past 17 years and engaging more than 40 artists including painters, photographers, jewelers, fiber artists, woodworkers and sculptors. Each spring, new and returning artists working in all types of media are invited to submit their work for review by the Artsclamation! jury. The jury committee selects artists to invite to the show, and a percentage of each artist’s sales is donated to Peninsula.

In addition to professional artists, art created by those undergoing treatment at Peninsula is included in the art sale. Displaying the artwork of  Peninsula  patients who created a  piece  of art during an art therapy session gives the creators a point of pride in their work. As patients are often in attendance, art sale guests can interact with the person who  created the work of art.

Though usually one artist is designated as the feature artist each year, the work of two standout artists, both talented women from the Knoxville area, will be featured at this year’s Artclamation! event. Marge Luttrell is a fine arts painter, and Mary Saylor is a 3D paper mache artist.

About the Cause

“We are  all touched by mental health in some way, shape or form. That holds true for a lot of our artists, and that is the reason they participate year after year,” said Nicole Taylor, special events manager for Covenant Health’s Office of Philanthropy. “This event has become an annual staple in Knoxville where community leaders, art lovers, doctors, employees, and administrative staff,
both active and retired, all come together to ensure the event’s success. They want to help share
the needs of Peninsula, support the cause and support vital mental health resources in our community.”

Funds generated through the 2019 art sale will go toward transportation vans for outpatient services and renovating the admission lobby area at Peninsula Hospital to provide a more inviting design with private areas for admitting and discharge discussions between patients and caregivers. In addition, sensory stations will be incorporated into therapy groups to help participants develop coping skills and improve the patient experience.

“It is so exciting  for me when the community gets together to rally around mental  health  in  a positive way,” says Liz Clary, BSN, RN, MHA, and Peninsula’s vice president of behavioral health. “With the support of Artsclamation! funds, we can look ahead to the future and enhance our patients’ lives  both  while in treatment and beyond.”

Clary explains the importance of the transition between inpatient care and going back to  the “real world.”  One  way the fundraiser has provided transitional care for patients is  giving  them a 30-day supply of their medication at the point of discharge, helping them until they get to an out- patient appointment, at no additional cost to them. “You have no idea how important that is at that stage,” says Clary. “That’s the impact Artsclamation! funds has on our patients.” Over the last 17 years, supporters of this event have provided $750,000 toward  Peninsula’s   mission to help people recover from mental health disorders  and dependencies so they may lead healthy and productive lives.

About the Event

Since the first sale in 2002, Artsclamation! has brought  original  works by hundreds of noted regional and local artists to Knoxville for the annual event.

The ticketed preview party takes place on Fri- day evening, Oct. 25, with the public sale on Saturday, Oct. 26.  For more  information about Artsclamation! please visit, call Fort Sanders Foundation at (865) 531-5210 or email Nicole Taylor, special events manager, at

2019 Participating Artists

2D Artists

  • Cindy Day
  • Vicki Denaburg
  • Jan Havens
  • Carol Robin King
  • Inna Nasonova Knox
  • Shari Lacy
  • Ronald Lewis
  • Sharron Q. Mallison
  • Spears McAllester
  • Kate McCullough
  • Denise Meyers
  • Ann Nichols
  • Leila Platt
  • Lennie Robertson
  • Marcia Shelly
  • Robert Simon
  • Larry Cole
  • Lil Clinard
  • Jonathan Howe
  • David Swanagin
  • Marguerite Smith Hogan
  • Johnny Guthrie
  • Sarah Pollock
  • Amy Crews
  • Margaret Luttrell
  • Allen Monsarrat
  • Soo Cha Griffith

3D Artists

  • Susan Watson Arbital
  • Hugh Bailey
  • Judy Brater
  • Pat Clapsaddle
  • McDonald and Deborah Ann Crosby
  • Joppa Mountain Pottery
  • Karen Dwyer
  • Betsy Heerdt
  • Charles “Chico” Osten
  • Laura Goff Parham
  • Michael Robison
  • Mary Saylor
  • Kristine Taylor
  • Jessica Weiss

Event details box.