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The Brushes with Life Art Gallery was 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.

Brushes with Life 2016 Reception Buckley
Brushes with Life 2016 Reception

The gallery is located in the lobby as well as on the 3rd floor of the N.C. Neurosciences Hospital on Manning Drive on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus. 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. 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 Thava Mahadevan for additional program information or by calling the Brushes with Life art purchase coordinator at 919-445-0206. We invite you to come by and see the art, much of which is for sale

Parking: UNC Hospitals Dogwood Deck off Manning Drive and in nearby campus lots.

Hours: 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., seven days per week.

How to find us