Able Artists 2012
Co-founder of Different Strokes Art Group
Don King is a Kingston born/based artist with a personal mission of utilizing his artistic skills and self-disclosing bi-polar diagnosis to battle stigma surrounding mental illness. Upon coming home to Kingston in the mid-1990’s, Don became an active displaying member of the K.R.A.C. (The Kingston Regional Arts Council, now known as K.A.C.). Not too long after this, he volunteered part-time for three years at H’art School. Gratefully following this lead, as well as being constantly encouraged and supported by Vicki Huehn and the staff at Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addiction Services, Don co-founded in 2005 (and coordinated for the past seven years) the FCHMAS sponsored Different Strokes Art Group. Now in its eighth year, this organization is a successful member-run initiative using its art to fight stigma. His art (and art-inspired) recovery story has been the subject of interviews, articles, speeches and three documentaries meant to address the stigma surrounding mental illness.