Exhibit benefits charity, Wintergreen Arts Center

8 years ago

Exhibit benefits charity, Wintergreen Arts Center

PRESQUE ISLE — During the month of May, the Wintergreen Arts Center participated in “May is Mental Health Month” with a show celebrating the life and art of Alan Mountain (1956—2015), a local artist who lived his entire adult life with a disabling mental illness.

Contributed photo


ART BENEFITS COMMUNITY — A recent exhibit at the Wintergreen Arts Center focused on the life and work of Alan Mountain, a local artist who struggled with a mental illness. The show and an auction brought in nearly $3,000, which was split equally between the WAC and Catholic Charities Maine. From left are Dixie Shaw, director of hunger and relief services for Catholic Charities; Alice Bolstridge, the artist’s mother, next to one of her son’s works; and Dottie Hutchins, WAC executive director.

The show touched hundreds of people and through the generosity of Alan’s family, an auction of his artwork and the sale of a book he helped to write brought in $2,980, with all proceeds divided equally between Wintergreen and Catholic Charities.
“With this donation, the family thanks these organizations for the important role they play in contributing to community mental health,” said Mountain’s mother, Alice Bolstridge.
“I cannot overemphasize the therapeutic significance of artistic expression in Alan’s life. And Catholic Charities’ mental health services provided for Alan’s needs in a variety of ways for most of his adult life: basic survival needs of housing, food, housekeeping services, and supplies he obtained in their ‘free’ store, which he often used in surprising ways in his art,” Bolstridge said.
Dottie Hutchins, Wintergreen’s executive director, said, “On May 6, we held a reception during the First Friday Art Walk which drew a crowd of over 125 people, including several members of Alan’s family. Alice gave a moving and candid talk about Alan, the importance of art in his life, and his illness. Her bravery is equaled only by her generosity.
“The family’s gifts — both financial and groundbreaking — are extremely appreciated.”
Dixie Shaw, director of hunger and relief services at Catholic Charities Maine, said, “Catholic Charities is so thrilled to have this support from the family of Alan Mountain. This will go far to provide services for those in Aroostook County struggling with mental illness.”
For more information about Catholic Charities services, visit www.ccmaine.org.
The book Bolstridge and Mountain wrote, “Oppression for the Heaven of It,” is “docu-fiction” published under the pseudonym Moore Bowen. It won the 2013 Kenneth Patchen Award for an innovative novel.
For more about the book and to read a copy of Alice’s gallery talk, visit https://moorebowen.wordpress.com/. The book is available at amazon.com, SPD and Ingram, Baker and Taylor.