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Dr. Joseph Calabrese: Vincent Van Gogh and Bipolar Disorder

Acting Out! TALK: Presentation / Discussion

Event Location Links:


This special intimate presentation by Dr. Calabrese details the connection between Vincent Van Gogh’s psychiatric symptoms and artistic productivity.  It will describe the exponential increase in artistic productivity observed during Van Gogh’s most impaired years of life, while also covering his various mood and anxiety disorders using contemporary diagnostic nomenclature.

Throughout the presentation, artist Derek Hess will be included in the discussion to share his take on the correlation between his own dual diagnosis and how it affects his creative process.

Followed immediately by Acting Out! Fest ART exhibition in the Derek Hess Gallery from  6 PM to 9 PM in Derek Hess Gallery during Third Friday Open House in 78th Street Studios


Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D. is the recipient of the Bipolar Disorders Research Chair, the director of the Bipolar Disorders Research Centre, and the director of the Mood Disorders Program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. His primary research focus is clinical outcomes in underserved populations of bipolar disorder. Professor Calabrese has received five lifetime achievement awards, including the “Nola Maddox Falcone Prize for Affective Disorders” in 2005 and the Gerald L. Klerman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. More recently, in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Dr. Calabrese was ranked by Thomson Reuters as being one of the world’s most highly cited researchers based upon the number of his papers ranked in the top 1% of worldwide citations according to Essential Science Indicators. Dr. Calabrese’s Google Scholar H index is 97 and his publications have been cited over 39,000 times.

Derek Hess –  From concert posters to politically charged fine art pieces, Cleveland-based artist Derek Hess has tested the waters of the music and art worlds for over 25 years. His completely unique and inimitable style garnered the attention of countless venues and touring bands, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the GRAMMY Museum and the Louvre in Paris—all of whom have Hess’ art in their permanent collections.

Acting Out! Fest is the brainchild of Hess and Martin Geramita, the mission of the fest is to help remove the stigmas surrounding mental illness, dual diagnosis and addiction through a special series of art, comedy, film, panel discussion, and music events.  This is subject matter is especially important to Hess, whose struggles with bipolar disorder and substance abuse and are not only well known, they’re integral subjects to his emotionally charged artwork.



September 15, 2017



Start Time:

5:00 PM

End Time:

6:00 PM


Derek Hess Gallery
1300 West 78th St, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44102