White Sulphur Springs, W. VA. — Fountain House Gallery, the premier New York City venue representing artists living with mental illness, has partnered with The Schoolhouse Hotel, a new boutique hotel in downtown White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, to provide one of a kind art that reflects the hotel’s mission of being an inclusive, community-focused leader in the hospitality industry.
The Schoolhouse Hotel is the world’s first fully accessible hotel that complies with all regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It has selected 15 works by Fountain House Gallery artists to feature in its guest rooms, recognizing the role companies can play to destigmatize mental illness and create business opportunities for people with disabilities.
“The Schoolhouse Hotel’s mission and values are a powerful example of how business leaders can make a social impact at every level of their operations,” said Rachel Weisman, Director of Fountain House Gallery. “We’re honored to have Fountain House Gallery artists so prominently featured throughout their establishment and recognized for their tremendous talent. We hope other hotels, and other industries in general, will follow The Schoolhouse Hotel’s example and begin to think more comprehensively about how to serve people with disabilities, including mental illness, while celebrating their triumphs and contributions.”
Owned and operated by The Disability Opportunity Fund, The Schoolhouse Hotel’s 30 guest rooms and public spaces—including its ballroom and rooftop lounge—as well as its booking process have been designed to be completely accessible with input from people with lived experience. The bathtubs, for example, use hydronic body lifts, the lighting fixtures were chosen to maximize visual aid, and the floor where the bartenders stand is purposefully lowered so they can be eye-level with people sitting at the bar—regardless of whether they’re in a stool or wheelchair. The Schoolhouse Hotel hopes to normalize these types of inclusive practices across the industry, ensuring that the needs of all guests are met at the highest standards of care and treated as a priority, not just a matter of compliance.
“We welcome our partnership with Fountain House to showcase original art created by those living with mental illness. This collaboration illustrates to the world that those living with disabilities can and do thrive, and should be acknowledged and celebrated,” says Charlie Hammerman, President and CEO of the Disability Opportunity Fund. “This beautiful artwork complements and augments our mission of inclusivity and investment in underserved communities. The extraordinary Fountain House works seamlessly contribute an innovative level of artistry to The Schoolhouse Hotel’s aesthetic of calm, welcoming spaces.”
Fountain House Gallery artists that are being showcased at The Schoolhouse Hotel include:
- Alyson Vega, a Puerto Rican fiber artist who taught herself to sew and quilt at a young age. After the effects of surgery for a benign brain tumor ended her 22-year teaching career, Alyson experienced a burst of creativity that brought her artistic ability to the fore. As a self-taught artist, she creates instinctively, incorporating in her work themes of decay and loss, transience, childhood, and dreams.
- Zeus Hope is a lifelong New Yorker whose art presents bold statements on race, class, and gender. Zeus’s love for her heritage strongly informs her work; her pieces highlight the history of Black people, the fierce circumstances that impacted and oppressed their existence, and their resilience and legacy of liberation. These elements also play a major role in her healing from childhood trauma.
As a community development financial institution (CDFI), the Disability Opportunity Fund also has the dual goal of using The Schoolhouse Hotel to generate economic growth and opportunity in one of the nation’s most beautiful and rural areas.
For more than 20 years, Fountain House Gallery has exclusively worked with artists impacted by mental illness, providing a dedicated space where they can express their creative visions and exhibit their work. To learn more about Fountain House Gallery and its growing community of artists, visit FountainHouseGallery.org. To book your next stay at The Schoolhouse, visit TheSchoolhouseHotelWV.com.
Fountain House is a national mental health nonprofit fighting to improve health, increase opportunity, and end social and economic isolation for people living with serious mental illness. Founded in 1948 in New York City, Fountain House originated the clubhouse model of community mental health that has been replicated more than 300 times in nearly 40 U.S. states and in 30 countries around the world.
The Schoolhouse Hotel
The Schoolhouse Hotel is the first full-service boutique address in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and the first all-ADA compliant hotel in the world. Transforming the former historic White Sulphur Springs schoolhouse into a hub for the community and visitors alike, the hotel features 30 uniquely appointed guest rooms and suites; the upscale Varsity Club restaurant/grill; The Rooftop Bar serving small plates and creative cocktails in the open air before stunning mountain views; and flexible ballroom and meeting space perfect for weddings, conferences and more. An asset for the community and the region around it, The Schoolhouse Hotel showcases the best of West Virginia hospitality and lodging in a completely inclusive atmosphere. For more information, visit theschoolhousehotelwv.com, or follow on Facebook and Instagram.