Inspirational Art: Gift of painting will benefit recovery art groups (Grand Traverse Insider)

Dr. Frank Tosiello of Traverse City recently donated a painting to Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH) to be auctioned with proceeds to benefit the organization’s free recovery art groups.

The painting was sold to anonymous donors who then donated the painting back to the mental health organization for permanent display. Dr. Tosiello’s gift raised $510, which will be used to purchase paint, paper and other supplies to support people learning to use art as a means to live a healthier, less stressful life.

The painting is a copy of Rembrandt’s “A Woman Bathing In A Stream.” Dr. Tosiello often paints derivative works as a study in technique and also to give inspiration to others that they can learn to paint too, at any age.

Dr. Tosiello, who turned 90 this year, has been an active consumer advocate all his life. He earned a doctoral degree in education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. He is a retired psychiatric nurse, a past professor of nursing, and a former consultant with the New York State Office of Mental Health. Currently Tosiello serves on the CMH Board of Directors Recipient Rights Advisory Committee and participates in the Recovery Learning Community. He is also an active local chapter member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Frank has dedicated a great deal of energy to improving the lives of people living with psychiatric and developmental disabilities in our communities,” said Greg Paffhouse, Northern Lakes Chief Executive Officer. “He is a brilliant, caring and generous individual who has made a significant contribution over the years to the work we do.

“We are gratified that he continues his work on behalf of the individuals we serve and appreciate the humor and grace which he consistently brings to the table,” Paffhouse added.

The recovery art classes are free and open to the public. Participants learn a dynamic process to express their feelings and ideas through the arts. The classes are facilitated by Thomas McClellan, an experienced process painting instructor with a master of arts degree in counseling psychology and a certificate in Holistic Health. The classes meet every other week in Traverse City, Cadillac, Grayling and Houghton Lake with support by a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The class schedule is included in the calendar of events on Northern Lakes’ Web site at No registration, supplies or experience are needed.

Northern Lakes CMH manages or provides services and supports to more than 5,000 residents who are adults and children with developmental disabilities, adults with serious mental illness, and children with serious emotional disturbance living in its six-county service area of Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon and Wexford.

For additional information contact Greg Paffhouse at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health at (231) 935-3083 or (231) 876-3200.

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