The Art Gallery

 We welcome your original artwork on mental health, wellness, life-affirming and life-embracing themes.

Click here for submission process.

Meet The Cooks – Comfort Food for the Soul 

A Courageous Survivor Touched By Angels

A Brother Who Touched Her Heart (and Ours)

Megan Cook Vincent has lived life at the extremes, touched by trauma, death, courage, resilience, determination, faith, miracles, the unconditional love of family and the kindness of angels. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, she enrolled in an accelerated program at the Florida Institute of Ultrasound in Pensacola. On March 26, 2005, on her way home from Pensacola to celebrate Easter with her family in Vicksburg, MS, her life changed forever. She lost control of her vehicle causing it to flip 3 times, each flip crashing her skull into the highway’s pavement. Just before her vehicle burst into flames, Megan who was unconscious, was pulled to safety by an unknown passerby who also called 911 – the first of many angels in her life.

She spent 10 days in an induced coma, underwent an emergency craniotomy to remove a portion of her skull, suffered a stroke that permanently paralyzed the right side of her body, and survived numerous brain surgeries. Then she began the arduous journey to rebuild her life and regain a level of independence, starting with the basics – learning how to walk, talk, control her movement, and try to regain her memory. Her journey has been blessed by more than 100 caring angels – speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists, her Ole Miss Chi Omega sorority sisters, and most of all her childhood sweetheart Peter Vincent (now her husband), Peter’s mother, and her devoted parents, Naomi and Jim Cook. “The response from our Vicksburg community was overwhelming,” says Naomi.

Megan continues to undergo treatment fourteen years after her traumatic brain injury and she is determined to reach her full potential. “I don’t give up. I don’t even say ’why?’ I just don’t think about the negative. I think about the positive. I can’t look back, I have to keep on keeping on and look forward to my next obstacle,” she says.

Megan and her older brother, Jim Jr., shared a mutual love of art. But three years after her accident, her brother died by suicide, leaving the family with even more heartache. Many other families would have been broken by such tragedies, but one thing Megan has never lost is her optimistic outlook on life, her determination and faith in human kindness, and her love of art. It’s obvious why angels feature prominently in her photography and her paintings. And recently, as Naomi packed away the Christmas decorations, she found a gift – an long-hidden box of Jim Jr.’s artwork – which she and husband Jim generously shared with us. Come see what’s cookin’ at the Cooks! (Double-click on images to expand.)

Ally’s On Our Mind…

We like to check-in with our artists from time-to-time to see how they are doing. Recently, we re-connected with Maria Alejandra (Ally) Diaz Currea, the talented artist who inspired the logo for Ally is the niece of Adriana Gyorkos, system navigator of the Health Under Guided Systems (H.U.G.S.) Program at NAMI-Collier County, FL. She has been very busy over the past four years. Ally is in the final stage of earning her undergraduate degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, in her homeland, Bogotá, Colombia. It is a 5-year program. Currently she is doing an exchange program in Mexico City, which she hopes to complete in 6 months. She then plans to undertake a 6-month hotel internship and complete her degree in December 2019. She shared that her artistic talent has positively influenced the way she has approached her college studies; applying her creative skills and being open to new opportunities where she can strengthen her academic capabilities. As for her plans post-graduation, Ally would like to work at different hotels and travel around Europe and other locales to broaden her world view. When she has time, she still enjoys drawing and painting. We are so happy Ally is reaching for her dreams and working hard to make them a reality. We wish her safe travels. Here are some of her more recent works of art and images from her culinary adventure in Mexico. (Double-click on images to expand.)

Eye Candy Delight from

Child’s Path Early Development Center

Collier Child Care Resources

This project, “What Makes Me Happy”, offers a lens into the inner world of one to five-year-olds and the simple things that bring them joy. All the children from Child’s Path, a CCCR Early Childhood Development Center, were guided by volunteers from CarMax Naples to illustrate what makes them happy, and the result was a colorful mix ranging from birthday cake to the beach!  Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR) is a non-profit organization that provides partial tuition assistance for high-quality early childhood care and education to working families that struggle to afford childcare. Five local CarMax employees, salesmen and managers, made a one-year commitment last June to volunteer with the young children of CCCR for one hour each month. These gentle guys did not just help the children glue and paint. They laughed with children. They interacted with the shy ones and helped make connections. This project and the volunteers that helped them are wonderful sources of encouragement and social bonding that are so crucial at this stage in their young lives.

A Warm Salute to Everglades City Public Schools

4th & 5th Grade American History Course Artists

Art Gallery Slideshow

Art teacher James Tribble inspired his 4th and 5th graders to express their views on their recent American history course. Come view their uplifting patriotic artwork. Everglades City was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and the community’s resilience is inspiring. Thanks to Everglades City Public Schools Counselor Carolyn Rambosk for coordinating this project.


We Welcome the Marco Island Academy

High School Art Students

Art Gallery Slideshow

Art teacher Rob Eder invited Deena Baxter to visit his class on November 28, 2017. Deena spoke with the students about surviving sudden loss and ways we can use art to help us heal. She brought a guest – spoken word artist Lenz Dalusma – who performed two poems: MASK and GLASSES. His messages were inspiring. Afterwards, the students worked on an art project that expressed their emotions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and other recent trauma in their lives. Marco Island was hit very hard by the hurricane and many of the students and their families continue to deal with the aftermath months later. We are honored to showcase their powerful and emotive artwork. Thank You Marco Island Academy Art Students!

We Welcome the NAMI SW Missouri Hope Center

Self-Expressions Workshop Artists

Art Gallery Slideshow

 “Eye Candy” for the soul – in a range of flavors from bitter to sweet: That’s what you’ll find in this artwork from NAMI of Southwest Missouri Hope Center in Springfield, Missouri. In the words of Hope Center Director Addie Blankenship, “We are providing free painting and art classes to all the peers who utilize our center, and we focus on recovery-based art…painting about their journey in recovery from mental illness.” Here are some of the paintings and sculptures from the center’s June 9th Self-Expressions Workshop artists – Abigail, Addie, Anngie, Jillian, Josh, Ra’Mon, Tina and others. We are delighted to be part of their healing.


Introducing Carl Dean Smeed

 Talented Illustrator

“A Born Enthusiast”

Introducing Naples, FL, Illustrator: Carl Dean Smeed is a native of Naples, FL, and a long-time member of the Sarah Ann Adult Drop-In Center community at NAMI of Collier County, FL. As an infant, a fall from his crib resulted in serious brain injury that impacted his ability to see, walk and talk. Through force of will, determination, and true grit he overcame many of these obstacles. He has used his innate talent as an illustrator to express his emotions – at times forceful and powerful, at times restrained and reflective. A self-trained artist, he started drawing at the age of four and developed his talent by observing other artists, practicing and developing his own style. Carl describes himself as “a born enthusiast.” His freehand illustrations, created with felt tip markers, are extremely detailed: most include a profusion of vibrant colors. Inspirations for his illustrations and body art designs (tattoos) come from the joys and sorrows of his life experiences and travels. He hopes to try other art media, perhaps a story book that consists of pictures with no words. He can be contacted at

Welcome to the David Lawrence Center

Art Therapy Program Children Artists

“Nature’s Way”

Art Gallery Slideshow

We proudly welcome these talented children from the DLC Art Therapy Program. Abbey, Bella, Casey, Chloe, Jamie, Jayde, Karina, Logan and Zane are using art to constructively explore their feelings, fears, and hopes. Through the creative process of artwork, they are learning valuable life skills, including conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and stress relief. Based in Southwest Florida, the David Lawrence Center provides innovative, comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential and community based prevention and treatment services for children and adults who experience mental health, emotional, psychological and substance abuse challenges. Click here for more information.


Welcome to the NAMI of Collier County, Florida

Sarah Ann Adult Drop-In Center


Art Gallery Slideshow

Our NAMI-Collier Artists have been busy and creative. Here’s a glimpse of some great artwork.(Double-click on images to enlarge. Double-click again to further enlarge.)

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Welcome to the Lely High School

 “What Makes Me Happy”

Art Gallery Slideshow

Happiness is important: knowing what makes us feel good is individual and personal and we find it in different ways and in a variety of people, places and things. We are thrilled to share new artwork from a second Lely High School class. Modified Curriculum 2 Life Skills Teacher Nicole Cholka led her eight students in an inspiring art project titled, “What Makes Me Happy.” We hope these creative images will make you happy, too.(Double-click on images to enlarge. Double-click again to further enlarge.)


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Welcome to the Lely High School

 “Messages From My Heart”

Art Gallery Slideshow

Special thanks to Life Skills teacher and Golden Apple 2014 Honoree Jacqueline Williams from Lely High School, Collier County, Florida. Jackie led her ten talented students in a creative, life-affirming art project. We are honored to welcome these very special artists to on images to enlarge. Double-click again to further enlarge.)

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Welcome to the Potpourri

Art Gallery Slideshow

Here we showcase artwork from our Global Community.(Double-click on images to enlarge. Double-click again to further enlarge.)

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Welcome to the NAMI of Collier County

Art Gallery Slideshow

Thanks to the NAMI of Collier County Anything Goes: Art-From-The-Heart project team: Rosemarie Kirk, Susan Joy Smellie, LMHC, ATR, and Lisa Blount, and artists who contributed artwork to this project and inspired this website.(Double-click on images to enlarge. Double-click again to further enlarge.)

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Future: Welcome to the Global Art Gallery Slideshow.

Click here for submission process.