Fountain House Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition Celebrates the Role of Place and Community in the Lives of People With Mental Illness
On view: July 23 – September 4, 2020
NEW YORK CITY – Fountain House Gallery – the premier venue in New York City representing artists living with mental illness – today announced their 20th Anniversary Exhibition, curated by Other Content, a student collective of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The exhibition will be presented online through Artsy and Instagram (@fountainhousegallery) from July 23, 2020, through September 4, 2020. An Opening Reception will take place on Thursday, July 23, at 6PM – 7 PM EST via https://zoom.us/j/4381092602, followed by a live DJ set by DJ Dylan Sparkle at 7PM EST on Fountain House Gallery’s Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/fountainhousegallery/
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.
Featuring 82 works by 48 artists in 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.
“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.”
"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."
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 podcasts, panel discussions, and a zine celebrating the Gallery’s 20th Anniversary.
This program is funded, in part, by generous support from the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
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
About Fountain House Gallery
Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment where artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions and exhibit their work. Founded by Fountain House in 2000, the storefront Gallery in Manhattan sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators and cultural institutions. The Studio, located in Long Island City, is a collaborative workspace that furthers the professional practice of our artists. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain House Gallery cultivates artistic growth, makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community, and challenges the stigma surrounding mental illness.
About Other Content
Other Content is the curatorial collective founded by a group of graduate students studying Visual Arts Administration at New York University. It is dedicated to fostering communities and building bridges among art professionals and artists in New York City. Other Content has convened a group of idealistic and socially-engaged curators who strive to explore the infinite possibilities of curatorial practice. Founded in 2017, it has collaborated with numerous galleries and art colleges across the city, such as 80WSE Gallery and the New School. Recent exhibitions include Carry On, Pond, Disfiguration, and Reformation.