MAY 2016

From Coping To Commission: Randy Nicholson Uses Self-Expression(ism) to Change His Life

We encourage you to share Randy's story as part of National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Randy Nicholson has only been painting for six years, and yet his evolution as an artist is astounding. Randy’s expressions of color and form, initially approached as therapy for bipolar disorder, are now hanging on walls in institutions such as Harvard University.

Primarily Chaotic

"My first real experience with art was as a healing agent through art therapy."


"I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I wasn't able to work anymore." 

Randy initially had trouble coping with his diagnosis. All aspects of life—from his health to his career and housing—were affected by the disorder. Randy began working on expressionistic artwork to unload the negative emotions that had built up within himself.

Signature of a Survivor

Art not only served as a healing agent and coping mechanism for Randy—it served as an avenue to change his life for the better. As Randy explains: "Art helped me, just therapeutically. And then it started to help me financially when I met Liz [Powers]. Since I’ve been with ArtLifting, I haven’t had problems with housing. I haven’t been hospitalized in the past three years.”

Since joining ArtLifting, Randy has slowly incorporated representational impressionism into his repertoire—partially in honor of one of his favorite artists and legend of the form, Van Gogh.

“That's why my work is turning a little away from abstract expressionism. I feel a kinship with Vincent Van Gogh, who also suffered from bipolar disorder.”

Randy still utilizes art as a form of therapy and is now being commissioned for his work. His newest commissioned piece, "Childhood Dream," hangs in the Leesa Dream Gallery in Soho, NYC.


*     *     *     *     *

Visit our collection and artist pages and subscribe to our newsletter for future blog posts, content, and updates.

Photos by Ali Campbell

DEC 2015

12 Days of Giving: Day 6 Laurie Kammer

Happy 12 Days of Giving from our family to yours. The ArtLifting team is very excited for the 6th day of giving! Our featured artist today is Laurie Kammer! For every purchase of Laurie Kammer’s artwork and products today, we will donate an art-related toy to a child in need through Toys for Tots!

So, a little about the incredibly talented Laurie. After falling from a tree in 2011 and suffering from a T-10 spinal cord injury, Laurie decided not to let her injury get in the way of her art. She now works with the RiseUp Gallery, an adaptive art studio in Miami that provides art workshops for newly injured patients living with a variety of ailments. Most spinal cord injuries are avoidable incidents like car accidents, falls and violence. Although Laurie can no longer walk, her accident has not taken away her spirit or passion for creating art. 

Laurie's work is bright and inviting. Her work is a true crowd pleaser with incredible patterns and tessellations. The repeating patterns have a complexity that complicates the viewer's experience. The work reveals more intricacies and details the longer it is viewed while the bold color and composition give it a strength and presence upon immediate viewing as well. Laurie's work is very popular as both prints and on products, her patterns making beautiful contributions to fashion and design. 

Laurie is a true artist and is very dedicated to her craft. Putting her bachelor’s degree in Sculpture and Digital Art & Design to great use, Laurie also teaches art with a special emphasis on integrating different art forms, thereby allowing each individual to meet his or her specific interests and needs. After working with an art therapist, Laurie feels that "others suffering from this kind of trauma would benefit from the limitless potential of the healing arts." Laurie is such a positive influence on the world and on others living with injury and trauma. Her work reveals the personal beauty of her personality and spirit and, hopefully, bring joy to others as well. 

Scroll To Top