Art sales to benefit Peninsula patients

Jay FitzOur Town Health

Regional artists and their creations will be in the spotlight in early December for the annual Artsclamation! fine art sale benefiting Peninsula. Open to the public with free admission and parking, the event is Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 711 S. Northshore Dr., Knoxville.

The event will showcase the work of 34 artists of various media, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, fiber art, glass art and 2-D mixed media.

The 2023 featured artist is Don Reed, a clay potter from Crab Orchard, Tennessee.

Art as Therapy

Artwork created by mental health clients in Peninsula Recovery Education Center’s therapeutic programs also will be featured at Artsclamation! Therapists in the recovery education program work with patients to aid the emotional healing process through creative expression. The participants in the Student Art Booth have all experienced mental illness and are connected in some way to Peninsula outpatient services. The artwork in the Student Art Booth includes acrylic and watercolor paintings, woodwork, handcrafts like crochet and stitching, jewelry and photography.

Lending a Hand

Tyler Janow, local business owner and philanthropist, has volunteered with the Artsclamation! event committee for the past four years.

A veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, he says, “My experience working in behavioral health counseling and social work during my time in the military reinforced how important it is to have these resources.”

After active duty, Janow heard about all the positive programs that Peninsula offers and wanted to help. “The most critical thing for people who are being discharged from inpatient hospitalization at a place like Peninsula is access to medication. The staff makes sure patients have meds for the first 30 days after leaving the facility, which is so crucial to success.

“Funds raised [by Artsclamation!] help therapists with continued education, and assist patients with housing, medication and other basic needs that help along someone’s road to recovery.”

Janow adds that the importance of behavioral and mental health has been amplified by the pandemic, especially in East Tennessee. “Mental health is something we don’t talk about, or don’t think we need, until we do. These issues affect everyone. The efforts and contributions of these artists help tell the story of this organization, and Artsclamation! is the only fundraiser Peninsula has.

“It’s a great cause – and I want people in the community to visit the public art sale and experience the connection between mental health and creating art.”

Essential Support for Mental Health Services

Thirty percent of the proceeds from artists’ sales at Artsclamation! support improvements to the treatment programs and environments at Peninsula, as well as enhancing the resources available to patients. Artsclamation! also raises awareness of mental health issues across East Tennessee. One in four East Tennesseans suffers from mental illness, but there is a significant gap in funding for behavioral and mental health services. Funds from this event help reduce that gap and allow Peninsula to continue providing innovative and effective mental health care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Changing Lives in the Community

Offering services for children, adolescents and adults, Peninsula is a leader in the changing health care environment. The hospital is located in Blount County, with outpatient centers in Knox, Blount, Loudon and Sevier counties.

Additionally, Peninsula offers care for senior adults with co-existing psychiatric and medical conditions at the Senior Behavioral Unit located at Parkwest Medical Center. Over the last 21 years, supporters of Artsclamation! have provided over $1.8 million toward Peninsula’s mission. The 2022 event brought in more than $82,000.

Convenant Health provided information and quotes for this story.


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