On until March 1st, 2015, at Fountain Gallery, located at 702 Ninth Avenue NYC a gallery which represents artists with mental illness’, will host a stunning exhibition entitled: “We Are Not Alone.” In addition to works by the artists of Fountain Gallery, this exhibition of 50 pieces features works by the artists of Creative Growth Art Center and Healing Arts Initiative (HAI), participating through the Fountain Gallery Visiting Artists Program.
Anthony Ballard of Fountain Gallery, May 3, 1980, Drawing pen & ink on paper
“When Fountain Gallery’s parent organization, Fountain House, was founded in the 1940s, it was known as :We Are Not Alone,” said Matthew Higgs, current Director of White Columns, New York’s oldest alternative, not-for-profit art space and curator of this show claims, “The exhibition I have organized for Fountain Gallery shares the name ‘We Are Not Alone’ and hopefully draws from its profoundly optimistic and collaborative spirit. The exhibition brings together work by ten highly idiosyncratic artists associated with three extraordinary organizations. Each of these organizations operates in distinct ways in relation to the needs of their respective communities, yet each shares a central commitment to supporting and fostering the ideas and the creative development of artists with mental, developmental and physical disabilities. Organizations such as Fountain Gallery, Creative Growth Art Center, and Healing Arts Initiative and others like them both nationally internationally provide an invaluable context for the work of artists with often radically different histories, intentions and motivations.
Barry Senft of Fountain Gallery, Body Builder, Acrylic on canvas,
‘We Are Not Alone’ seeks to simultaneously celebrate and privilege this sense of difference whilst at the same time acknowledging the profound sense of community fostered by these organizations. As the exhibition’s title suggests, these artists aren’t ‘outsiders,’ in any sense of that term; rather, they are artists whose work has evolved in very specific and supportive social and creative milieus. These artists – and the organizations they are associated with – are both representatives and advocates for the creative potential that exists in all of us.” Among the art mediums represented in this exhibition of 50 works are: collage; pencil, pen and ink, and pastel and watercolor on paper; and acrylic on canvas. Adorning a wall at Fountain Gallery is a spray paint mural created by Fountain Gallery artist Osvaldo Cruz as an illustration of the “We Are Not Alone” theme. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and by generous support from the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
More About Fountain Gallery (New York): Fountain Gallery provides an environment for artists living and working with mental illness to pursue their creative visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for its member-artists, Fountain Gallery sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators and cultural institutions. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain Gallery cultivates artistic growth and makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community. Fountain Gallery “We Are Not Alone” artists: Anthony Ballard, Martin Cohen, Osvaldo Cruz, and Barry Senft.
More about Creative Growth Art Center (Oakland, CA): Founded in 1974 in Oakland, CA, Creative Growth is an art studio and gallery that supports the work of artists with mental, developmental and physical disabilities. Creative Growth has played a significant role in increasing public interest in the artistic capabilities and achievements of people with disabilities. Artwork created at Creative Growth’s studio is exhibited in the Creative Growth Gallery as well as in exhibitions at galleries and institutions throughout the world. Creative Growth’s primary focus is to encourage and support artists with disabilities in the development and exhibition of their artwork. Creative Growth “We Are Not Alone” artists: David Albertsen, John Hiltunen, and William Tyler.
Healing Arts Initiative/HAI (New York) Located in Long Island City, NY, Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) comprises a gallery and studio program that is a gathering place for artists who are living with mental disabilities. HAI’s mission is to assist artists in developing their own creative identity through the development of unique bodies of work. Opportunities are also provided to artists to display work at the “Gallery at HAI” and at other venues across New York City. In addition to artistic growth, HAI’s Arts Studio has assisted individuals in workforce development, and has held workshops to teach additional creative skills. HAI “We Are Not Alone” artists: Derrick Alexis Coard, Rocco Fama, and Ray Hamilton.
Fountain House is located at:
702 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019
To read the full press release go: HERE