Today, the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation made its debut in the famed Saks windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City with a special mural dedicated to mental health awareness, featuring the artwork of Fountain House member artist Osvaldo Cruz.
To bring the windows to life, Saks partnered with Fountain House, a community-based model for people living with mental illness, and Crisis Text Line, which provides free, 24/7 confidential support for those in crisis. The windows showcase the artwork of Fountain House Gallery artist Osvaldo Cruz. Known for “graffiti” pieces that feature large lettering in the bright and gritty colors of New York City streets, Cruz, who works with spray paint, creates cloud-like, dreamy works in pastels. His work in the windows, “We Are Not Alone,” speaks to the difficulties of living with mental health issues and was the name of the original founding group of Fountain House.
"The Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of mental health in every community and improving access to valuable tools and resources. Mental health is one of the most important issues of our lifetime, yet many people are afraid to speak up or seek help. Through our Fifth Avenue window displays, we see a tremendous opportunity to ignite the conversation around this crucial issue and further our foundation’s mission to drive progress and change.” Marc Metrick, President, Saks Fifth Avenue
“Fountain House is proud to partner with the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation on this incredible opportunity. Providing such a vibrant public platform for an artist living with mental illness in the creation of these displays shows the depth of commitment Saks has to changing the conversation around mental health. As nearly one in five U.S. adults experience mental illness, and as rates of addiction and suicide skyrocket, we need more leaders like Saks – across multiple industries – to partner with us to bring mental health challenges out of the shadows once and for all.” Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO, Fountain House
The Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation windows will be on display until March 2, 2020 at 611 5th Ave, New York, NY.