McWilliams is California raised outsider artist. She was diagnosed with Bipolar
Disorder at 19 years old. For most of her life she fought the demons associated
with mental illness, self-injury, addiction, and eating disorders. Now in recovery,
she lives with her wife Renee and their daughter. Mara expresses the intensity
of living with Bipolar Disorder through her work. It is her desire that by sharing
her work and experiences with Bipolar Disorder, she can help de-stigmatize the
Mara practices art therapy, writes mental health consumer articles and spiritually
counsels those who reach out to her for assistance. She strongly believes that
all individuals diagnosed with a mental illness should come out of the closet.
As a mental health advocate, she believes that it is through sharing our experiences
with society through simply admitting to and accepting one's illness will strengthen
public support for the mental health community.
Mara has dedicated her life to raising her daughter, volunteering in her community,
and helping others improve themselves whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The birth of her art came from despair and had led her into recovery. For her,
art and recovery are inseparable.
Since launching Recovery Through Art, Mara has spoken to many beautiful people
living with, or helping a loved one live with, Bipolar Disorder. It is for those
people that this site was initially launched. Thank you for 4 years of continued
mental health and for sharing your lives with me.
October 2005, Krazy Krepes, San Mateo, CA
2005, Billy DeFrank Center, San Jose, CA
June 2005 and June 2004, San Francisco City Hall, Spouses for Life - A Wedding
Album October 2004, Phantom Galleries, San Jose, CA
February 2005 and October
2004, Offices of Dr. Luce, Atherton, CA
2005 Lambda Literary Award for Best Non-Fiction Anthology,
I Do/I Dont ~ Queers on Marriage edited by Greg Wharton and Ian Philips,
Our Gay Wedding pg. 225 by Mara McWilliams
Outta My Head and In Your Face, Mara McWilliams
Kindness is a Great Wedding Gift, Mara McWilliams, San Jose Mercury News
Fostoria Glass, Scarce, Unique and Whimsies by Juanita Williams, Thank You
Painting by Mara McWilliams on Dedication Page to the US Troops
Taming Bipolar Disorder by Lori Oliwenstein, Manic Mind pg. 292 and Bipolar
Parenting pg. 293 by Mara McWilliams
Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco edited by Cheryl Dumsil, Kindness
is a Great Wedding Gift by Mara McWilliams.: