South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202
News Release


April 6, 2010
Contact:   Tracy LaPointe

                  DMH Office of Public Affairs
                  Phone: (803) 898-8581


Department of Mental Health Art Program to Exhibit at 701 Center for Contemporary Art

Columbia, SC - Works from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s (DMH) Art of Recovery program will be on display at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) April 1 through April 24, in conjunction with photographer Michael Nye’s interactive exhibition Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness

The Art of Recovery highlights the talents of individuals receiving services from DMH and the role that art can play in the recovery process.  The program seeks to not only empower clients, but also educate the public about, and dispel the stigma associated with, mental illness.  A widely acclaimed program, The Art of Recovery received the 2006 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s award for the arts, the highest Arts honor in South Carolina.

“Art is a powerful representation of the person within – his or her pain, fear, recovery, triumph,” said Sue Perry, director of DMH Community Resource Development.  “The Art of Recovery is dedicated to sharing the works of its clients – giving them a means to find their voices – and make them heard.  Mr. Nye’s exhibit is so powerful because it does just that, so we are so especially proud to be included in Fine Line.”

Sponsored by The South Carolina Hospital Association, Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, and three South Carolina PSI facilities (Three Rivers Behavioral Health, Palmetto Behavioral Health, and Lighthouse Care Center of Conway), Nye’s Fine Line: Mental Health & Mental Illness is a collection of portraits and stories of everyday people living with mental illness.  This interactive exhibition will be on display at CCA’s gallery, located on the second floor of 701 Whaley Street in Columbia through April 22, 2010.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. 

In conjunction with Nye's exhibit, partnering organizations have collaborated to provide a series of special events, including a poetry reading, mental health speakers, and presentations from local mental health advocacy groups.  Admission is free to all public events.  For more about the artist, event schedules, and gallery hours of operation, visit the 701 Center for Contemporary Art's Web site.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health serves approximately 102,000 citizens with mental illnesses, including 33,000 children and adolescents.  The Department provides outpatient services through a network of seventeen community mental health centers and numerous clinics.  It also operates four psychiatric hospitals, one community nursing care center, and three veterans’ nursing homes.