Saturday event supports mental health research, suicide prevention

An event called Black Tie & Sci Fi will take place Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at the Besser Museum in conjunction with an exhibit of the science fiction-themed art of the late Mitch Tulgetske. It is planned as both an awareness event and a fundraiser to support mental health research and suicide prevention.

Admission is $10 and includes hors d’oeuvres and live music performed by The Kev and Diane Project.

Along with Tulgetske’s art, works by other science fiction artists from Alpena and throughout Michigan will be featured. Among the other artists are Chris Lucsh, Neoma Lindley and Mark Orr, all of the Detroit area, and Keagon Collins of Alpena.

All proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the International Mental Health Research Organization.

“Mental illness is such a hush-hush subject, and I don’t think it should be,” said Tulgetske’s sister, Carrie Collins, who along with other family members, put together the current exhibit and planned Saturday’s special event. “Some research shows that every 40 seconds someone commits suicide. Mental health needs to be brought to the forefront. Mental health treatment it needs work.”

Collins also said assembling the exhibit was a very difficult process for her personally, but that she believes strongly in the cause of suicide prevention and the need for better treatment for those struggling with mental illness.

Though the event is called Black Tie & Sci Fi, dressing up is not required. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, go to