The death of 63-year-old actor Robin Williams is being felt by artists suffering from mental illness here in Winnipeg.

Upbeat Artworks, an Artbeat Studio project that allows artists suffering from mental illness the chance to showcase their work in a boutique, held its grand opening Tuesday morning.

Artbeat Studio

Emily Wasyluk is one of the artist who presented her work as part of Upbeat Artworks, an exhibit aimed at giving artists with mental illness a chance to showcase their work. (Claudie Emond/CBC)

Nigel Bart is running the project and also suffers from mental illness.

"He was a brilliant artist," said Bart. "You’ll find a lot of brilliant artists that have mental health issues and, unfortunately sometimes, depression, drug addiction can lead to really sad things.”

Bart said mental illness can be a silent killer.

Williams is believed to have taken his own life after suffering from depression.