Mad About Art


3.8.13 Party Pictures

On the last night of February, Fountain Gallery welcomed nearly 500 guests at Skylight West for Mad About Art, the Gallery’s Annual Art Auction and Benefit. Fountain Gallery is the premier venue in New York City representing artists living with mental illness.

The evening was New York City-themed in décor, food – and art. The art, strikingly arrayed on two floors dubbed “Uptown” and “Downtown,” included representations of city landmarks, streets and scenes, and more than 30 Fountain Gallery artists were on hand to discuss their work with guests. The atmosphere was electric and bidding was electronic, facilitated by a stylish squad of “bidding valets” sporting illuminated hats and iPads. Auction participants tracked bids on large screens, and art sales topped those of any Fountain Gallery event since 2001, when this annual benefit launched as Celebration of Life.

WABC-TV’s Lucy Yang introduced William Wegman, the recipient of the Esther Montanez Award, established in memory of Fountain Gallery’s founding director. Mr. Wegman was recognized for his inclusive artwork and his support of artists living with mental illness. Mr. Wegman – who is probably best known for the endearing photographs of his Weimaraner dogs Man Ray, Fay Ray and Fay’s progeny – has created work for Sesame Street on PBS and has appeared on Saturday Night Live. The author of numerous children’s books (Penguin will publish his next in the fall), he has exhibited his photographs, videos, paintings and drawings in museums and galleries throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. His art is inclusive, full of humor, generous of spirit and broad in its appeal. Mr. Wegman donated a piece to the auction, as did legendary entertainer Tony Bennett, Paul Davis, Bentley Meeker, Jason Rohlf, Harriet Sawyer, Ungano & Agriodimas, and The Walther Collection.

The dedicated Chairs who worked tirelessly to ensure the evening’s success were: John P. Casaly, Peter L. DiCapua, Rick Froio, Carmel and Brett Fromson, Dario Gristina, Leslie Harwood, Mary Pontillo, Bonnie and Frank Pratt, Jerry Schumm, and Gabriel Stefania.

Among the notable attendees were: Tommy Agriodimas, Lorraine and John Ambrosini, Pauline Anderson and Kenn Dudek, Elena Brower, Ines Elskop and Christopher Scholz, Danielle Fennoy, Elizabeth Fiore, Richard Greene, Agnes Gund, Rich Hiler, Susan and Peter Hinrichs, Jevaun Howell, Guinevere Johnson and Jason Rohlf, Suzanne and Emmanuel Lemakis, Jim Luce, Bentley Meeker, Asia Mernissi, Lynn Nicholas, Sasha Nicholas and Steven Caputo, JuneAnn Patrick, Pam Perkins, Dawn Reinholtz, Harriet Sawyer and Richard Demato, Susan and David Schwartz, Betsy Seidman, Fern Senior, Sue Stoffel, Kristin Thomas, and Julian Ungano.

Rich Hiler, Carmel Fromson, Kenn Dudek, John Ambrosini, Rick Froio, Dario Gristina, and Gabe Stefania

Founded by parent organization Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for artists living and working with mental illness, 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.

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Jason Bowman, Christine Burgin, Agnes Gund, William Wegman Emcee Lucy Yang, Reporter, Eyewitness News, WABC

Fountain Gallery Artist Anthony Newton,

Norman Schwartz, and Lee Bryant

Emmanuel and Suzanne Lemakis with Richard Greene

Leslie Harwood and Betsy Seidman Kenn Dudek, Fountain Gallery Artist Azure Bourne, William Wegman, and Lucy Yang

Robyn Marks and Rick Froio Guinevere Johnson and Ulrike Ludlam

Azeema Hartley, Danielle Fennoy, and Guinevere Johnson

Kathryn and Tom Farrell, Andrew Fichte, and SooMi Thompson

David Schwartz, Fountain Gallery Artist Robin Taylor, and Susan Schwartz

Val Scaramella, Mike DiBugnara, Dawn Reinholtz

Contributing Artist Jason Rohlf

Elena Brower bidding on art

Julie Weiswasser, Fountain Gallery Artist Osvaldo Cruz

Fountain Gallery Artist Leonard Aschenbrand and Barry Shapiro

Fountain Gallery Artist Gail Shamchenko and Margaret Baker

Photo Credit: Saskia Kahn/Arnold Brower

Tara O'Grady and the Black Velvet Band


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