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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


The Fountain Gallery
New York, New York

Start Date

Brief Description
The Fountain Gallery is a nonprofit cooperative run by and for artists living with mental illnesses. It works to change common misconceptions about people living with mental illnesses by publicly exhibiting the works of their talented artists and by providing a safe and secure place for self-expression.

Research into the creative expression of individuals with mental illnesses has found that artistic expression is a great benefit in the recovery process. Oftentimes, individuals with mental illnesses may have a diminished self-image due to stigmatizing views. Artistic expression can facilitate the manner in which individuals with mental illnesses convey the emotions that they may feel, thus improving the manner in which they communicate. These expressions of self also may improve the views that the general public holds about mental illnesses.

The Fountain Gallery was developed in 2000 to provide an environment for artists living and working with mental illnesses to pursue their personal visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness. The artists, members of Fountain House, employ different media like ink, oils, watercolors, and photography for their creative works. The gallery exhibits the artwork throughout the year, generating public dialog about the artists, their artwork, and the mental illnesses the artists live with. Their logo, a ripple effect in the water, depicts the impact Fountain Gallery has had and wishes to have on its members, staff members, and the community at large.

Since its development, Fountain Gallery has grown from a handful of individuals to nearly 40 artists, supported by a small professional staff and many dedicated volunteers. Members of the gallery have expressed their gratitude at having a place where they can effectively express themselves and where they find an environment of understanding and support. Tony Cece, an artist of the gallery states, Were all working to make the gallery better, and in doing so, we do our part to diminish the stigma of mental illness.

Works of gallery artists are displayed in several private collections including Citigroup, Eli Lilly and Company, and Este Lauder Companies.

For further information about Fountain Gallery or to view artists works, you may visit the Gallery Web site at


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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.