Pictured: L:ead artist Andrew Frank Baer with Fountain House Gallery artist Anthony Newton.
On Monday July 24, staff, friends and supporters of Fountain House joined with state and local representatives to celebrate in the ribbon cutting of our new mural on 34th street between 9th and 10th avenues.
A 2015 study by the Department of Health found that 1 in 5 New Yorkers suffer from some kind of mental illness. The NYC Mural Arts Project was created in an attempt to address the stigma of mental illness through the integration of art and community-wide collaboration.
The mural on 34th street was created in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Fountain House Gallery, lead artist Andrew Frank Baer, countless Fountain House members and artists, and the broader Hell’s Kitchen community.
Fountain House member artist Anthony Newton reflected on the mural process in his speech below:
“My name is Anthony Christopher Newton. I am a proud artist living with schizophrenia and also very proud to be part of Fountain House Gallery. I appreciate the opportunity to creatively express myself through the Mural Arts Project you see before you. As a professional artist, the joy and expressive enthusiasm I experienced working on this amazing mural was an extraordinary journey. With my personal character that I painted under lead artist Andrew Baer, I found a visual explanation to a personal stigma of living with schizophrenia and the vast misunderstanding by society as a whole. The narrative to this central character is to show that nothing can stop or hold you down from accomplishing your dreams no matter the circumstance. The thrilling enjoyment of exhibiting my talent as a painter was beyond rewarding on this platform to bigger and better things in the art world that I am a part of. l pray that I touch every soul who walks by this mural and finds hope to persevere in such incredible times. We will never admit defeat. But use our spirituality to endure our most difficult moments. And find the love of living. It is my pleasure and honor to have been one of the collaborating artist on this majestic stage.”
People living with serious mental illness contribute in meaningful ways to the city every day, and we’re proud to have a visual reminder that will be a part of the city landscape for years to come.
Make sure you head down and see the mural – located at 34th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.