Posted on Monday, August 10, 2020
Fountain House Gallery opened its doors on June 19, 2000. Beginning with a handful of member-artists, over the years the Gallery has grown to support more than 150, showing their work in over 200 in-house and external exhibitions. The promotion of these artists' work in the Gallery, open studios, and outside exhibits spotlights the value of artists with serious mental illness and builds awareness that aids in breaking stigma.
The Gallery by Alyson Vega
Within the past 20 years, New York City has experienced a terrorist attack, the Great Recession of 2008, and, now, a debilitating pandemic coupled with enormous economic fallout, and powerful protests over police violence and racial inequity. The 20th Anniversary Exhibition is a celebration of not only the resilience of the artists who live with mental illness and have witnessed and documented this upheaval but also a reflection on a city and its residents that have endured through multiple crises.
My Community by Susan Spangenberg
“Fountain House Gallery is more than just a gallery. For two decades, audiences – both intentional and accidental – have walked through our exhibits, conversed with our artists, participated in community events, and learned about the Fountain House mission in an organic, open way, shattering the stigma surrounding mental illness,” said Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Fountain House. “While COVID-19 has temporarily closed our physical space, I’m proud that our artists and curatorial partners have created an opportunity to go beyond our four gallery walls, bring the celebration to the broader community, and showcase the extraordinary work of Fountain House members in new and engaging ways.”
Fountain House Gallery by Susan Baus
The exhibition, featuring 82 works by 48 Gallery artists, is curated by Other Content, a student collective of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Design elements for presentation of the online show have been created by graphic designer Wallis Huang. The exhibition is divided into three distinct exploratory sections: Our People Our Life, documents the artists’ varied experiences; Our Community Our City, illustrates the Gallery’s close-knit relationships and the artists’ ways of seeing New York City; and Our Present Our Future, addresses the unique time we are currently experiencing and demonstrates the artists’ visions for the future.
Note Taken by Zeus Hope
"We feel privileged to collaborate with Fountain House Gallery during such an unprecedented time,” shared curators Jing Cheng, Tianyi Liu, Luowel Zhang, and Yujia Zheng of Other Content. “This exhibition has been a learning process of experimentation and exploration, and we are inspired by the honesty, emotion, interconnectedness, and self-expression that we have found in the artists' works. As curators, we must remain mindful of not interpreting works to conform to our presumptions but rather to allow artists to speak for themselves. Thus, the curatorial concepts behind the three sections of the exhibition developed organically as we discovered common ground among these artists and also gained valuable insight into mental health through our conversations with them. In light of the uncertainty and stress faced by our society at this time, we are grateful for the trust, tenderness, and vulnerability that the Gallery and its artist community have extended to us in this collaboration."
Spring Thinking by Laura Anne Walker
We toasted the Gallery’s 20th birthday and the opening of this historic show at a festive and well-attended Opening Reception via Zoom on July 23, 2020. Guests learned about the curatorial concept for the show and heard from selected Gallery artists about their work process and subject matter. The Zoom reception was followed by a lively Instagram DJ set by DJ Dylan Sparkle.
Among the mediums represented in the exhibition are acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, spray paint, collage and mixed media, and digital photography. The online exhibition will be complemented by a series of special events and materials, including panel discussions and a zine celebrating the Gallery’s 20th Anniversary.
Trip NY City by Lyn Barlotta
The online exhibition can be viewed through Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/fountainhousegallery/ and Artsy at https://www.artsy.net/show/fountain-house-gallery-fountain-house-gallerys-20th-anniversary-exhibition
Here’s to another 20 years…!