New York, NY—Fountain House Gallery, the premier New York City venue representing artists living with mental illness, has partnered with The Strangers Project for a collaborative pop-up exhibit inviting members of the public to share their stories. The show opens on Sunday, August 21, at Fountain House Gallery’s Hell’s Kitchen location (702 Ninth Avenue at 48th Street).
Founded by Brandon Doman in 2009, The Strangers Project transforms public spaces into intimate community gatherings where visitors can experience true stories from everyday people, as well as submit their own. Its events in New York and across the country have collected more than 75,000 submissions thus far, all of which are anonymous and handwritten in-person to best capture people’s spontaneous and authentic stories.
“We’re thrilled to welcome The Strangers Project back to Fountain House Gallery for this special exhibit exploring the connections that make us human,” said Rachel Weisman, Director of Fountain House Gallery. “Our members have long used art as a powerful tool for expression, healing, and activism, particularly in relation to their mental health diagnoses, and we hope this partnership will empower more people in the community to share their stories and learn from one another.”
This latest collaboration is the ninth time Fountain House Gallery has hosted The Strangers Project and will feature more than 1,000 stories curated from its collection. While the exhibit is not explicitly focused on mental illness, Doman says mental health has been a recurring theme in submissions over the years and speaks to the need within all of us to find acceptance and support.
“Whether you live with a mental illness or not, I think we can all relate to the impact our mental health has on our work, relationships, and outlook on life,” said Doman. “Fountain House Gallery has been a fantastic partner for The Strangers Project, not only for its beautiful, welcoming space but for its powerful message that everyone, no matter their backgrounds or struggles, are an important part of the community who can and should be heard.”
The Strangers Project will be on display at Fountain House Gallery through Monday, September 5. It’s free and open to the public.
For more than 20 years, Fountain House Gallery has provided a dedicated space for artists impacted by mental illness where they can express their creative visions and exhibit their work. To learn more about Fountain House Gallery, its programs, and upcoming shows, visit FountainHouseGallery.org.
The Strangers Project
Since 2009, The Strangers Project has collected and displayed more than 75,000 handwritten, anonymous stories in pop-up exhibitions across the country—transforming public spaces into intimate community gatherings that celebrate human connection. All submissions are written in-person and collected on-site to best capture the authentic reflections of participants in the moment. The Strangers Project is available online and on Instagram. In 2015, founder Brandon Doman also turned a selection of The Strangers Project into a bestselling book.
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 Manhattan-based Gallery 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.
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.