Loras Kathy Schumacher Graphic

Loras College to Host Artist Kathy Schumacher as Part of Mental Illness Awareness Week

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Loras College will host Cedar Rapids artist Kathy Schumacher as she discusses her drawings entitled “My Name is Frances,” a series of drawings about her grandmother, at the Alumni Campus Center Ballroom on Oct. 15 from 5:30 p.m.- 7 p.m.

Schumacher will tell the story of her grandmother, Frances, who lived in Dubuque and was committed to the Iowa Asylum for the Insane in Independence, Iowa as she struggled with postpartum depression. Schumacher’s art will be on display for the public to see and she will be available to discuss her work before and after her presentation.

“We are very excited to have Kathy on campus to tell her story of how her family was impacted by mental illness,” Tricia Sullivan Borelli, MA, LMHC, director of counseling services, said. “Her heartbreaking truth brings forth much about how mental illness was viewed in the early and mid-1900’s. It also gives us a glimpse at how far we have come regarding the perception of mental illness and how far we still need to go in ending the stigma.”

Schumacher’s presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m. when she will explain her research into the history of a grandmother she never knew and who was committed before Schumacher was born. While her family would not discuss her grandmother, Schumacher found records and memories of her grandmother in Independence and uses her art to give a voice to her grandmother’s experience.

“I approached my work by pulling images from my grandmother’s records from the Mental Health Institute in Independence,” Schumacher said in her artist’s statement. “Lines like ‘she said the wind blew me here,’ ‘they left me alone for hours,’ and ‘she had 21 electric shock treatments with no improvement’ inspired my drawings and helped me feel her pain.”

Schumacher is a native of Dubuque. She has had solo art exhibits at the Blue Strawberry and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids and had her work displayed at the Campbell Steele Gallery in Marion.


About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).


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