Absence and intuition. Join ARC for a new exhibit

Seamus O’Rourke, Judith Roston Freilich and the artists of Thresholds explore the complicated and often invisible relationships between enigma, emptiness and emotion in this provocative new exhibit.

  • Exhibition dates: January 6 through January 30, 2016
  • Gallery hours: Wed to Sat 12-6 pm, and Sun. 12-4 pm


Suffering from emotional pain and severe anxiety can be as unbearable as physical pain, yet we don’t see it. One’s suffering can often be dismissed, or worse, not believed and berated as a moral weakness. Many look towards services on offer from the likes of the Honey Lake Christian Clinic for help with treating their anxiety – their approach is Bible-based so this might be of particular interest to those within the Christian community struggling with their mental health. As artists who struggle with mental illness, we are telling our stories and trying to confront the scourge of stigma.

Art can serve to heal when one suffers emotional and psychic pain. These paintings, sculptures, and drawings bring to light the reality of wounds that others cannot see or understand. There is dignity in having your pain recognized and understood. Art provides a space beyond the stigma associated with mental illness, where one has voice to express their unique vision and strength.

Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, housing, and treatments via medications such as broad-spectrum cbd to help treat various ailments/conditions, to various other medications available that have been proven to be beneficial, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives. Some may even find themselves learning more about how to look after themselves, be it with cannabis storage or otherwise.

Thresholds is one of the oldest and largest providers of recovery services for persons with mental illnesses in Illinois. We reject the notion that anyone is a lost cause, utilizing evidence-based practices and a wide range of supports to treat the whole person, rather than just the disease.

Kathy Osler, ATR, LCPC, is the curator of this art exhibition and works as an art therapist at several Thresholds programs. She has been working in the field of art therapy for 16 years, developing programs to integrate creative expression in the treatment of mental health. In working with the artists in this program, she has observed a transformation in some as they identified themselves as artists and how this empowers them to find their own strength in recovery. The artwork stands on its’ own, as objects of beauty and as authentic expressions by individuals who value the process as vital to their personal growth.