Two Oakville artists Touched By Fire selected for exhi

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Thursday December 1, 2011

NORTH OAKVILLE TODAY – Two Oakville artists are being featured at Touched By Fire, a Toronto art exhibition and sale showing works by people who are living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses. 
Works by R. David Foster and Mark Belvedere were chosen from more than 450 submissions by a panel of three judges to be shown at Touched By Fire on December 8, 2011. The event’s main aim is to support and celebrate artists, and to this end artists receive 100 per cent of the funds from the sale of their work.
“Touched By Fire celebrates the resilience, creativity and tremendous courage of artists living with a mental illness. We’re so pleased that artists from across Ontario are such a big part of the exhibition this year,” said Colleen Cowman, Executive Director, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, the organization that hosts Touched By Fire. 
Celebrating its fifth year, Touched By Fire commemorates the life of a young artist, Rebecca Burghardt, who lived with severe bipolar disorder. Rebecca studied art at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This year, 10 works from Art Institute students will also be on display at Touched By Fire.  
“When starting this show five years ago, we could not have imagined how big it would become, and what a real difference it would make in the lives of artists,” said John Burghardt, Rebecca’s father. “Rebecca would be so proud of her legacy, and the way in which Touched By Fire helps to stamp out the stigma artists with mental illness face every day.”
At the exhibition, a panel of judges will award Best In Show and Best Emerging Artist, sponsored by Perimeter Development. Both awards include a $1,000 prize and a keepsake plaque. 
“We’re proud to have supported Touched By Fire for the past five years, and proud of the life-changing event it has become,” said Peter Kahnert, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Raymond James, the presenting sponsor of Touched By Fire. “Supporting the arts is important to Raymond James, as is supporting people living with mood disorders and those who love them.”
Touched By Fire takes place Thursday, December 8, 2011 at Coopers Fine Art Gallery (111 Bathurst Street at Adelaide) in downtown Toronto. Attendance is $10.  Tickets can be purchased online at, via phone at             1-888-486-8236       ext. 222, or at the door. 

For more information about the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, visit