Thursday, September 08, 2011

Research Presentation in Rome

The presentation of our research at the International Epilepsy Congress in Rome on August 29, 2011 went very well. It was exciting to present a summary of the study of the influences of epilepsy in visual art to some of the most important people in the treatment, research, and services provided for people with epilepsy from around the world. The conference had about 4,000 to 4,500 people in attendance, including people with epilepsy who are not doctors, researchers, or service providers. The title of my presentation was "Can epilepsy enhance or release creativity in visual art?" Steve Schachter from Harvard Medical School presented his studies on "Insights into Epilepsy from Contemporary Artists" prior to my talk. It was effective and fun to team up with him for the research session on epilepsy and art.
My presentation, which provided proof that focal epilepsy can in some circumstances enhance creative potential, was very well received. Notice of when the results will be published will be presented at a later date.
I want to again thank all the more than 100 artists with epilepsy and/or migraines and their family members who participated in this study.

My next presentations will be at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and possibly Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA in December of 2011.

Jim Chambliss

(Pictured above, from left to right, are Simon Vogrin, Steven Schachter, and Jim Chambliss.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Congratulations 2010 Featured Artists:

The contest for featured artist in 2010 was a difficult choice. The many artworks reviewed were very impressive. We extend out appreciation to each person who entered the contest. Each "Featured Artist" was award $100 (AUD) from the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.Please see their artwork on the "Creative Sparks: Art and Epilepsy Web Site" at The featured artists for 2010 are:

1. Sharon Anderson (Australia)
2. Emma Brockett (Austratlia)
3. Vicki Deutsch (USA)
4. Tremain Farrar (USA)
5. Craig Getzlaff (USA)
6. Cynthia Gott (USA)
7. Cheryl Heuston (Australia)
8. Cathy Hozack (USA)
9. Debbie Motsinger (USA)
10. Terry Porter (USA)
11. Matt Rees (Australia)
12. Alexandra Rozenman (USA)
13. Alison Silva (USA)
14. David Thinger (USA)
15. Peter Walker (USA)
16. Jessica Wildenberg (Australia)

There will be another "Feature Artist Contest" for 2011 that is open to all adult artists who have or had epilepsy.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Featured Artists Awards for 2010

Twelve artists with epilepsy will be selected as "Featured Artists" for 2010. Each artist will receive $100 AUD from the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria and be in a priority status along with the twenty-four artists previously selected in 2009 for display in the touring art exhibition in 2010 - 2012.

1. ten digital images of your visual art,
2. the titles of the artworks along with the mediums used, size, date of completion and brief description,
3. answers to general background questions, and
4. consent to display your artwork on the web site, art exhibitions and associated publications.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: July 30, 2010. The selections will be made in August of 2010.

INCLUSION IN TOURING ART EXHIBITION: Each featured artists will be asked to loan an artwork for display at the "Creative Sparks International Art Exhibition" in October 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. The same collection will likely be toured internationally in the future. Artists retain ownership and copyright interests to artwork, with the exception of purchase awards of $1,000 or more.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art and Epilepsy Article Wins International Journalism Award

An article about our art exhibition, research and participating artist, Megan O'Keefe, recently won an international journalism award. Click here for a link to the story.

Australian journalist Julia Medew received a highly commended award for her article "Art Helps Lift the Veil on Epilepsy", published in The Age, on May 2, 2009. Her article, which reached more than one million readers, told the story of a young woman's participation in a study examining the influence of epilepsy on artistic expression. The 2009 award, an initiative of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and biopharmaceutical company UCB, aims to increase awareness, improve understanding, and encourage accurate reporting of epilepsy by inviting journalists to submit stimulating, informed and compelling stories about knowledge, data and real life experiences of people with epilepsy around the world. Articles were submitted from 17 countries.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Participant Drawing Winners

We recently had the drawings for the winners of the six separate cheques for $50 (AUD). All participants who entered the Sparks of Creativity Study after October 1, 2008 and who had completed Stage 1 by July 14, 2009 were eligible. The six winners are Alan Smith, Adele O'Keefe, Bernard Parker, Matthew Paul, Rhys Fletcher and Lynne Craig. We greatly appreciate the participation of everyone involved in the study.

Partial results from the study will be released periodically in 2010.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sylvia Serville - Featured Artist with Epilepsy for June 2009

Sylvia Serville from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is one of the two featured artists with epilepsy for June 2009. Sylvia received a purchase award of $1,000 from Epilepsy Australia for her painting titled Totems and Icons. Click here to review her artwork and personal story.

The article by Denise Chapman is reprinted with permission from the Epilepsy Report, May 2009.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family Member Participants

Family members, spouses and partners of participants in our study of the influence of epilepsy and migraines in visual art, who are 18 years and older, are invited to participate in this research study as part of an important group for comparison. You as a parent, sibling or child of a participant have experienced similar environmental influences and have a close genetic background to your relative who is a participant. Spouses and partners also share a similar environment and life experiences. Volunteer family members of participating artists do not need to be artists by trade or by hobby to help in this study. Please do not hesitate to participate because you or others feel that your artwork and drawings are not “good” or you don’t produce art yourself as a hobby or a profession.

Family members of participants are asked to do two drawing exercises and answer a few background questions. A person may withdraw from participation at any time.

This research will evaluate how epilepsy and migraines, in some circumstances, can stimulate and/or enhance artistic creativity. Secondly, it will help reduce the level of misunderstanding and stigma that your family member and you may have experienced. Thirdly, this study explores whether there are genetic links or vulnerabilities to epilepsy and/or migraines. Fourthly, it will evaluate how drawings can be used to better understand these neurological conditions and also as a tool to diagnose if a person has epilepsy and/or migraines. Finally, this study will help to develop an effective way to evaluate what famous artists had epilepsy and/or migraines based on comparison to the art and experiences of living artists.