The link between creativity and artists with Bipolar Disorder has recently received much attention. One of the first authors to critically and knowledgeably analyze this connection was Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In her bestselling book, Touched with Fire, Dr. Jamison described that her purpose in writing the book was “to make a literary, biographical, and scientific argument for a compelling association…between two temperaments— the artistic and the manic-depressive…” Today, the term “manic-depression” has been updated to “bipolar disorder.”

Man with Flower (Ryan Licht Sang)

The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, in furtherance of one of its mission initiatives – to reduce the societal stigma associated with Bipolar Disorder – has launched an Art Exhibition project designed to shine a light on the creativity of people with Bipolar Disorder by mounting a national art exhibition tour to raise awareness about this illness.

The first Exhibition, entitled INSIGHTS, was held in Palm Beach, Florida, on January
Brintz Galleries
5, 2017, at the Brintz Galleries. The exhibition showcased work by two young artists, Christopher O’Malley Kimsey of High Point, NC, and Ryan Licht Sang of Palm Beach, FL, who both passed away in their early twenties from Bipolar Disorder.

This retrospective offered a window into the creative mind of artists with Bipolar Disorder and depicted the “highs and lows” of mania and depression and the struggles of brains “on fire” with chaos, demons and the opposite poles of light and dark. Although Kimsey and Sang’s styles were very different, similar themes ran through the work by both artists.

Self-portrait (Christopher O'Malley Kimsey)

This Exhibition was the start of a national tour to raise awareness about Bipolar Disorder that will feature other artists from around the country who have this illness. In the coming months, The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation will release information on how artists with Bipolar Disorder can submit their work to a juried panel. Artists selected will receive a Grant from the Foundation and their chosen work will become part of the Foundation’s permanent Art Exhibition tour.

Icon on Wood (Ryan Licht Sang)

Untitled (Christopher O'Malley Kimsey)

Pills (Ryan Licht Sang)
The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation was founded in 2004 after the passing of Ryan Licht Sang from Bipolar Disorder at the age of 24. The Foundation is dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding and research for early-onset Bipolar Disorder and has two major initiatives: 1) The Foundation is on a “QUEST FOR THE TEST™” to find an empirical, bio-marker test for Bipolar Disorder. By funding leading-edge research, the Foundation is working to make early detection and early intervention of this serious medical illness of the brain a reality; and, 2) The Foundation supports national and local programs and projects that spread Awareness and Understanding to help erase the terrible stigma associated with Bipolar Disorder.

Brintz Galleries - The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation Exhibition

(Header art by Christopher O'Malley Kimsey)


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