Akron, OH

Akron Zoo joins the Bipolar Butterfly Project with new Sculpture

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle


Akron, OH – To help raise awareness and understanding for mental health, The Akron Zoo joins the Bipolar Butterfly Project. Now on display, the zoo-themed bipolar butterfly sculpture can be seen in the Akron Zoo’s Lehner Family Foundation Zoo Gardens.

Painted by artist, Kimmy Henderson, who is also the founder of the Bipolar Butterfly Project, the sculpture is an initiative started as a perceptible representative to raise awareness and display to the community for anyone who is dealing with mental health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her community.” It may include a person’s ability to enjoy life and to stabilize the balance between life activities and efforts to accomplish psychological resilience.

“I am bipolar with generalized anxiety disorder,” says Henderson. “I painted a butterfly amid that mania before being diagnosed. After finding a regime that worked best for me, I realized how well that painting represents bipolar disorder – how on one side it is beautiful and inspiring while on the other it is chaos and disaster. I feel it represents all mental illness because we try to show our best and beautiful selves on one side even when we may be crumbling on the other.”

This project strives to adjust the stigma on mental illness and encourages support and awareness. “I want to change the stigma on mental health,” Henderson says. “I want to help end the stigma by creating a visual representation to raise awareness and show our community and unity for anyone dealing with mental health.”

Others in the community joined this project including the Belden Village Mall, Stan Hywet Hall, and Gardens and Up Front Art Space.

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