The gallery will be closed for the holidays December 23, 2015 – January 4, 2016. We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in the new year!
See Robert’s painting above the fireplace:
“After wandering in the desert of anguish and suffering, as I did as a young adult for so many years; almost a decade, I was luckily able find myself on the doorstep of a very unique individual’s…um, can I call it home? It wasn’t really a home, it was actually a hospital…”
That is how artist and mental illness advocate Susan Weinreich began her speech at the Clifford Beers Healing Hearts event on May 20, 2015. In attendance were Clifford Beers donors and administrators, Weinreich’s mother, and Reynolds Fine Art staff Denise Lysak and Robert Reynolds.
Susan Weinreich is one of the artists represented by Reynolds Fine Art. She was sought out by Clifford Beers because of her battle with paranoid schizophrenia. The relationship between Clifford Beers, Reynolds Fine Art, and Susan Weinreich began when her work exhibited at Reynolds Fine Art in 2013. During the exhibition the gallery hosted a lecture series by Weinreich and her psychiatrist Dr. Klagsburn for Yale University Psychiatric residents. Weinreich and Klagsbrun lectured on Susan’s artwork and Dr. Klagsbrun’s role in her healing process. This caught the attention of Clifford Beers administration and donors.
At Healing Hearts Susan told the story of how Dr. Klagsbrun guided her to use her artistic talents as a healing mechanism. She remembers, “…he had realized that I wasn’t just Susan-so-and-so in room 24A down the hall; that I had a life before I got sick, and I had interests, and passions, and I had come from studying art. One day he went to the art store and came with a pad of paper and some charcoal, put them down on the floor as I’m curled up and said ‘if you can’t speak to me, then draw your way to me and I will speak to what I see’.”
Weinreich’s painting, “The Kiss 02”, was purchased for the Healing Hearts event; the painting represents the importance of treatment, illustrating the metamorphosis individuals with mental illness undergo once they receive treatment and are able to begin transformation to becoming productive citizens. Weinreich explains that the painting “is not about the fantasy or the romance of a kiss, but the idea of connection.”
Weinreich explains, “ when someone is suffering or ill, they are isolated. In effect, illness is isolation; dysfunction is a form of isolation. So the idea is to connect. To make a connection with someone or something outside of yourself, and in that connection is where the healing takes place. So, yes, I was able to use my art to help lift myself out of psychosis and into this life, but that alone was not enough. I needed to feel connected to another human being.”
Weinreich’s story aligns with Clifford Beers Clinic’s mission to provide accessible community-based mental health services and advocacy that promote healthy and resilient lives for children and families. Alice M. Forrester, Executive Director of Clifford Beers reflects on the importance of Weinreich’s story to the Clinic. “Since that night I have thought a lot about Susan Weinreich’s comments. I keep hearing her thoughts about how she struggled for decades but made real progress when someone worked to create a community for her…to bring her out of isolation. Those are some of the themes guiding our work at Clifford Beers Clinic,” Alice M. Forrester.
The treatment community extends beyond the patient/physician relationship, as Forrester details, “we are working on new and better ways to share our work and to engage others to work alongside us, and I am so grateful to include [Denise Lysak, Reynolds Fine Art’s Director] in our group known as #thinktank.” According to Denise, “Reynolds Fine Art’s mission is to further relationships like the one we now have with Clifford Beers that showcase the gallery’s commitment to the community.”
See more work by Susan Weinreich here