Brushes with Life

Welcome to Brushes With Life!

The Brushes with Life Art Gallery as created to give local adults living with mental illnesses an opportunity to display and sell their artwork. We also hope the gallery will help lessen the stigma associated with mental illness by showing that those living with a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can be talented, creative and productive. Education and outreach are primary focuses of our work.

The gallery is located in the lobby as well as the 3rd floor of the UNC Neurosciences Hospital. The gallery features art by more than 100 artists living in the area who are living with serious mental illnesses. Our artists work with many different media including photography, acrylics, watercolors, yarn, paper, ceramics, fabric arts, poetry, jewelry and oil paints. Each time a new show is hung, there is an opening exhibition for artists, families, staff and friends to enjoy the new work and delight in the beauty therein. It is also an opportunity for musicians, dancers, and videographers to show off their work.

The gallery has been featured at many local and state wide venues including the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Raleigh Durham Airport, Panzanella, the FRANK gallery, UNC Charlotte, the Global FedEx building on UNC's campus, the Carrboro library as well as several area churches. In 2005 the gallery won the Lilly Reintegration Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

We hope you will become involved in our efforts to lessen the stigma of mental illness by becoming a supporter of the gallery.  We welcome your feedback, enthusiasm and ideas. You can contact us at or by calling 919-445-0206 for more information.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our gallery and that you will come back again soon!

STEP Gallery Committee,

Julie Pace, MS, OTR/L
Karen Graham, MD
Janice Linn
Rich Goldberg
Melodie McDonald