Artists left to right: artworks by Lexi Regan, photo by Vivian McNeeley, artworks by Annie McLoughlin

The Lawrence Public Library and Threads Unbroken Host Committee present

An exhibition about resilience in the Merrimack Valley that explores trauma, mental health challenges, and the opioid epidemic.


June 13 to September 13, 2019
Lawrence Public Library
51 Lawrence Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

About the Exhibition

The exhibition is free and open to the public during Lawrence Public Library opening hours.
Library Hours: M, T, W, F 9 am-5 pm, Th 9 am-8 pm
After Labor Day: M-Th 9 am-8 pm, F 9 am-5 pm

Threads Unbroken features art by Merrimack Valley artists and youth who in their art and lives take on behavioral health issues, sharing their stories of strength and overcoming. The exhibition proudly includes:

  • Art by Elevated Thought youth in Lawrence, dedicated to exploring societal issues
  • Works by Annie McLoughlin, who – with a history of PTSD, anxiety, and years of impairment from over-prescription – uses her art as a means of processing her story
  • Photos by Vivian McNeeley, who offers portraits of youth mentors Bill Fahey in Andover and Bugzy Martinez in Lawrence, who also will have a painting on view addressing the exhibition themes.
  • Photos by Jose Bencosme of artists Annie McLoughlin, Lexi Regan, and himself.
  • Drawings by Lexi Regan, a recent graduate of North Andover High School whose art offers perspective on a host of challenges ranging from the communal trauma of the gas explosions to individual struggle around pain.

Public Programs

Community Conversation & Opening Reception

Thursday, June 13, 5:30-8:00 pm
Conversation 5:30-7:00 pm; Reception 7:00-8:00 pm

At 5:30 pm, join the artists, those featured in Threads Unbroken, and others as we share the stories behind the exhibition – inspiring tales of overcoming and survival in the face of pain. The event includes performances from Red Rose Grace and Elevated Thought youth, and presentations from others from the Merrimack Valley, including Sandy Guerrier, Homelessness Initiative Coordinator for Lawrence, on how homelessness contributes to (as well as comes from) trauma, mental health challenges, and substance use disorder. In the face of hardship, we celebrate young people and the Merrimack Valley united in common purpose, intent on wellness and healing: we illuminate our threads unbroken.

Following the Community Conversation, join us in the art gallery to view the exhibition. The event includes a variety of resource tables with information on how people can find mental health and/or substance use help or family support.

Special Thanks

Threads Unbroken is made possible by generous support from a variety of individuals, businesses, and organizations, including: Andover Youth Foundation and Andover Youth Services, Century Bank, Northern Essex Community College, MTM Insurance Associates LLC, Mary Pritchard, Lisa Torrisi & Juan Bonilla, and several anonymous donors, including one gift in memory of Leslie Maria Farrell Layman. Special thanks to Elevated Thought for serving as the project’s fiscal agent.

Threads Unbroken is presented by the Lawrence Public Library, an essential public institution striving to serve as an accessible and responsive information and literary center for all residents of the Lawrence community. It is organized by the Threads Unbroken Host Committee, an ad hoc group of concerned residents from North Andover, Andover, and Lawrence who wish through this project to model how art may be used as a tool for engaging the public on stigma and discrimination associated with mental health conditions and substance use, in the hopes of inspiring ways for all the Merrimack Valley to better work together to make the world a more healing place.

The exhibition is curated by Peter Bruun, who can be reached at