Two Firefighters, One Journey Through PTSD
Flame is Jazz - Official Trailer
Flame is Jazz - Full Documentary

Brendan and Edmund are former Rhode Island Firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians. Each of them worked in the field for over 10 years and live with work-related mental health diagnoses, including PTSD. During their time working together, the duo bonded over a love of music, writing, creating, and helping others. To cope with their illness, they began creating paintings and poetry under the moniker "just BE". From this, Authentic Abstraction was born. 


"Art went from a coping strategy to deal with the horrors of our work as firefighters to now being the gasoline and ignitor to the new fire we will be fighting - The fire of activism and advocation, painting, writing, connecting, listening, creating, and healing."


"We hope you connect with our work."

-just BE

Our vision

The vision of Authentic Abstraction is to cultivate authentic connections through community and art to help raise awareness and dissolve stigma for those experiencing mental health challenges, especially first responders. 

Our Mission

To utilize an original, one-of-a-kind, creative platform to share experiences, vulnerabilities, and compassion, creating a safe and uplifting environment for communication and authentic connection.