Saturday, May 09, 2009

Creative Sparks Opening Night

On Thursday night, May 7, 2009, St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia was buzzing with excitement during the opening reception of "Sparks of Creativity: An Art Exhibition from People with Epilepsy. Roughly 140 people turned to celebrate the launching of the art exhibition in-person and on-line at

Forty-seven artworks by people with epilepsy from around the world were on display. The collection was so large as to require that the gallery be expanded to fill the corridor of the ground floor of the Daly Wing of St. Vincent's Hospital. Many of the participants from Australia were present for the festivities.

Dr. Mark Cook (to the right), who is a co-researcher in the study of the influence of epilepsy in art, was excited and fascinated to have discovered so many of his patients with epilepsy had a remarkable talent for art. Dr. Cook is primary link to many of the Australian artist with epilepsy becoming involved in the study and art exhibition. In North America, Dr. Steven Schachter, from Harvard School of Medicine, has been most helpful in opening the door for involvement of US participants. Dr. Schachter is the publisher of Visions: Artists Living with Epilepsy.

David Jones, President of St. Vincent's Foundation, was the host for the presentations. David has been an invaluable asset to the exhibition in helping to raise the funds and open the doors for the art exhibit to take place at St. Vincent's. Monique Silk, the curator for the gallery and art collection at St. Vincent's did an outstanding job in organizing the composition of the exhibit.

Many of the executives, case workers and staff of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria (EFV) were present on the exciting night. EFV is the leading force in financing the web site and the evaluation of the materials that have been gathered in the Sparks of Creativity Study. The most valuable contributors to the exhibition, the artists with epilepsy, showed up in abundance to share their art and stories with other guests. More about the exhibition and pictures are to come.

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to to those who made this exhibition possible.
All Participating Artists with Epilepsy Judges: Dr. Eugen Koh, Fern Smith and Jennifer Thompson
Organizing Commitee: Pauline Brockett, Monique Silk, David Jones, Dr. Mark Cook and Jim Chambliss
Primary Financial Sponsors: St. Vincent's Health and the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria
Award Sponsors: Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria, St. Vincent's Health, Epilepsy Action, JTA Associates Pty, UCB Pharma and Epilepsy Australia Web Designer: Warren O'Hara
Consultant: Dr. Steven Schachter
Research Sponsors: University of Melbourne, St. Vincent's Hospital and Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.
All caseworkers of the Epilepsy Foundation and others who helped transport artwork.