Artists Challenge

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Mental Health Foundation and the Missouri Department of Mental Health hosted its 35th annual Director's Creativity Showcase this week.

The showcase featured 330 art pieces from individuals with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, or addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling. This year's showcase had 135 more pieces of art work than last year's showcase.

"Not only is this is an opportunity to display their talents but it's also often a means of therapy, self therapy, for themselves," said Patty Henry, executive director of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation.

Judges awarded first through fifth place prizes for three categories: addiction disorder, developmental disabilities and mental illness. First place received $250. Judges also awarded a professional category award. That person received $300.

75 of the pieces will go on a traveling show starting in August and lasting through December. They will be featured at venues throughout Missouri, such as at the University of Missouri's Student Center.

"It's a great opportunity. The feedback has been very positive," said Henry.