NARSAD Artworks' Book Honors Work of Mentally Ill Artists

August 1, 1997

Annick Hollister has always loved to paint. Her parents, Hal and Patsy, remember that ever since the age of 3, art was a way for her to express herself when she couldn't convey her feelings in words.

Annick Hollister has always loved to paint. Her parents, Hal and Patsy, remember that ever since the age of 3, art was a way for her to express herself when she couldn't convey her feelings in words.

But as she grew, her language and social skills improved. So much so, that in 1978 at age 15, Annick, blonde, tan, popular and athletic, was voted sophomore class vice president of her Southern California high school. For one day. The next day her world fell apart-that was the day the symptoms started.

The next 10 years of Annick Hollister's life were like a nightmare-she ran away from home numerous times, criss-crossing the country, ending up in the most desolate of locations. She had visions-claiming to see God in the California setting sun. The Hollisters were frantic. Eventually, psychiatrists gave them a word for their daughter's erratic and confusing behavior-schizophrenia.In an effort to cope and make sense of what was happening, the Hollisters formed NARSAD Artworks in 1990 in response to their question, "How can we use Annick's art to help her?"

Today at age 35, Annick is doing much better. Her art is still her passion and her solace. It continues to thrive, untainted, as it does with so many others suffering from a mental illness.In order to share the gifts of these talented people with the public, the Hollisters have compiled the works of 18 mentally ill artists in a beautifully designed book, Sunshine From Darkness. Several of the artists and their works from the book are featured in the following. For more information, contact NARSAD Artworks, 761 W. Lambert Rd., Brea, CA 92621; (800) 607-2599, or visit them on-line at http://www.narsadart.org/.