The Peer-Led Art Support Group is a place for those seeking a community to support the navigation of intense emotions. Our Art Support Group is led by a facilitator who understands the difficulty of navigating intense emotions. The group is free to anyone aged 15+ interested in artistic expression and its intersection with mental health.

Meetings take place each 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 6-7:30 pm. Meetings are located at Purdue Fort Wayne’s Visual Arts Building, room 209, 2101 E Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

“In this unique and inspiring event, you will discover how to use paint as a powerful tool for self-expression, regardless of your artistic skill level.”

-Amanda McNamara, Art Director


Our Art Director, who has personal experience with bipolar disorder, believes that art can be a transformative way to manage mental health challenges and connect with your emotions. Through step-by-step guidance, she will guide classes in using paint to unleash creativity and expression in a safe, supportive environment. No prior art experience is required.


Amanda has always had a creative mind and was always drawn to creative activities. In high school, she fell in love with art history and collage art. Her main love has always been color and the concept of color. In 2010, at the age of 19, Amanda was diagnosed with Bipolar 1. Living life with Bipolar has been very challenging for her but she continues seeking therapy and a daily medication regimen to help her maintain stability.

It was roughly about 4 years ago that she started to focus on her art as a primary coping skill in her emotional toolbox, which she calls her “Fanny pack full of knowledge”. Her primary focus is acrylic on canvas mixed with art history book pages for her collage process. However, to get her gears turning, she simply paints with her eyes closed. Her process is simple, yet captivating. It is peaceful and a wonderful way to express how you’re feeling by utilizing the various array of colors.

“I have traveled many roads. I have been redirected many times. Art, music and passion have always stayed with me through the journey. They never once tried to leave… Art and music have helped me substantially through my mental health journey. Bipolar 1 has redirected my life many times but it always leads me back to art. Art helps me not only create wild art but helps me channel my Bipolar 1 symptoms.
I can not fail at painting. It’s my mood, emotion, passion and love that goes into each piece. For that- I am thankful.”



Thank you to our sponsor!