RSH hosts first-ever public art show at Rusk library

by Cristin Parker
Courtesy photo
‘From the Darkness, Into the Light,’ created by a RHS client, is just one artwork to be displayed at the RPL. Courtesy photo
‘From the Darkness, Into the Light,’ created by a RHS client, is just one artwork to be displayed at the RPL.

Friends of the Rusk State Hospital, with the help of the Rusk Public Library, is bringing a unique opportunity to see just how tough the struggle with mental illness can be, during a special art showing.

The event will be held 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Rusk Public Library, 207 E. Sixth St., Rusk. A meet and greet with the artists will be held 6-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

“The Rusk State Hospital proudly presents its first-ever public art show, featuring some of the fantastic and inspirational pieces of artwork created by RSH’s patients,” event coordination and Community Relations Director D.D. Clark said.

“Not only will various works of art, created by those the hospital serves, be on display, but six artists from Peer Support’s Visionary Creations art program will be in attendance to present and discuss what inspired their pieces.”

All pieces will be available for purchase, and the featured piece, “Out of the Darkness and Into the Light,” will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

All proceeds benefit the services and programs at the RSH.

“We encourage everyone to attend and please feel welcome to share this invitation with others as the show is open to the public,” Clark said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports one in five Americans is affected by a mental health condition.

“Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment,” NAMI’s website states. “The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.”

According to NAMI ‘s website,, the alliance is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S. and is dedicated to building better lives for those affected by mental illness.

Mental illnesses include ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality and dissociative disorders, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD and schizophrenia.

“When you first get your diagnosis, it’s like OMG what am I going to do,” a client shared during an art program held last year. “But once you start your recovery, it’s like finding the light again.

“We’ve got good people here working with us – I’m not saying (the hospital) is the place to be, but it’s good to have them on our side, working with us toward recovery.”

Rusk State Hospital is an inpatient hospital providing psychiatric treatment and care for citizens primarily from the East Texas region.

Under the supervision of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, RSH is one of nine state hospitals that share the responsibility of conserving the mental health of Texas citizens and helping persons with intellectual disabilities achieve their maximum potential.

RSH clients are not named, to protect their privacy.