FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hannah Gottlieb-Graham, ALMA Communications
Fountain House Gallery Presents YELL!
Herald Square | 34th Street and Broadway, New York
On View May 18-22
NEW YORK CITY – Fountain House Gallery is pleased to present YELL!, an immersive outdoor installation by the gallery’s artists and members. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Fountain House, and in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, this traveling installation is funded, in part, by the Sozosei Foundation.
Through verse, performance, and art, YELL! expresses what it feels like to live in the world with mental illness. The installation spotlights stories of Fountain House members' lived experiences, communicated through original artwork, written testimonials, first-person recitations of poetry and prose, and video performances. This installation is multi-sensory; while images and videos are projected onto the walls and ceilings, recordings of members' voices are played throughout the structure.
These personal accounts are presented in a maze constructed from plywood and lumber modules. As participants walk through, they encounter an immersive narrative of Fountain House members’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Each module of the piece is topical, illustrating themes such as trauma, stigma, incarceration, psychosis, identity, addiction, suicide, medication, hospitalization, hope, dreams, recovery, and freedom. The final module emphasizes community-based recovery options and is staffed by a trained peer specialist who is available to answer questions and provide visitors with resources.
The aim of this multimedia maze is to parallel the daunting journey through an unfriendly and obtuse mental health system. YELL! demonstrates the strength and perseverance of Fountain House members and celebrates all that this community can accomplish. We are proud to announce that YELL! will be on view at Herald Square—at the intersection of 34th Street and Broadway from May 18-22—and will then travel to Governors Island this summer where Fountain House will be an Organization in Residence.
About Fountain House Gallery
Fountain House Gallery was founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space. The gallery supports the careers and creative visions of our member-artists living and working with serious mental health conditions. 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. The gallery provides a professional exhibition space that not only showcases our talented artists, but also supports them in navigating the complex and competitive art world as it presents very specific barriers to individuals living with disabilities.
Located in Long Island City, the Studio provides Fountain House members with residencies and drop-in working spaces. Along with a supportive working space, the studio hosts weekly artists talks along with programming covering technique and art history. The Gallery and Studio work with more than 100 members a year and provide opportunities to foster artistic talent, further mental health recovery, and gain financial inclusion. Past curators & collaborators have included: Matthew Higgs, Agnes Gund, Phong Bui, Sarah Faux, Sara Kay, Frank Maresca, Barbara Pollack, Patterson Sims, The Schoolhouse Hotel, SoundMind Festival, Saks Fifth Avenue, American Folk Art Museum, American Visionary Art Museum, Long Island City Artists, Inc., and MoMA.
About Fountain House
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. Fountain House is leading a national movement for the dignity and rights of people with serious mental illness.
About The Sozosei Foundation
The Sozosei Foundation was established in 2019 as a philanthropic arm of Otsuka. The name Sozosei means “creativity” in Japanese. Our Japanese heritage is manifest in the Foundation’s fundamental values and day-to-day operations. We are guided by a spirit of “Jissho,” or “proof through execution,” as we employ our unique assets and skills to contribute to the well-being of people with mental illness, families, providers, and each other. Thanks to Otsuka, we are able to fuse a profound understanding of the healthcare landscape with an equally profound sense of corporate social responsibility to advance our goal of building healthier communities.
The Foundation’s primary focus is to eliminate the use of jail and prisons for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. In addition to our primary focus on the decriminalization of mental illness, the Sozosei Foundation also supports efforts to build resilient, healthy, and vibrant communities in Stockton, California; City of Baltimore, Maryland; and Camden, Newark, Patterson, and Trenton, New Jersey, and engages in disaster relief and recovery in places where Otsuka has a presence globally.