Fountain House Gallery and Studio supports the careers and creative visions of contemporary artists living with mental illness. Founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for its member-artists living and working with mental illness, the 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 House Gallery cultivates artistic growth, makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community, and challenges the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Alyson Vega (b. 1962)
Alyson is a Puerto Rican fiber artist who taught herself to sew at a young age. Born in New York City in 1962, she received an AB in Japanese Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University. After teaching math for over 20 years, Alyson sustained a brain injury that ended her career; at the same time, she developed an urgency to create. No longer able to follow a pattern, she made assemblages with whatever she could find. Utilizing a wide variety of materials and techniques, Alyson’s pieces reflect the beauty and order she perceives in a chaotic world. Her work has been shown in a solo exhibition at White Columns and at the Outsider Art Fair and is included in numerous private collections.
Angela Rogers (b. 1963)
Angela is a self-taught artist who, after having brain surgery and developing a seizure disorder in 2012, began creating three-dimensional forms by wrapping sticks with yarn. Over time the forms became figurative and incorporated a variety of media such as clay, fabric, wire, beads, and talismans. Angela refers to these creations as “Poppets,” an Old English spelling of the word “Puppets.” She has exhibited for many years at the Outsider Art Fair and has shown at venues including Andrew Edlin Gallery, Gallery at HAI, and Art on A Gallery. Her pieces are in numerous private collections, and she has participated in residencies at the Ace Hotel and the Carlton Arms Hotel. Angela has been a reader of Tarot cards for over 40 years, which has informed her work. She created several original Tarot decks and a feminist comic book titled No One Likes a Woman. She is a performer and co-founder of the bands Lone Vein and Ash Negative. Angela’s paintings have been featured in films such as Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, and What Maisie Knew.
Rich Courage (b. 1960)
With no formal training other than high school art classes, Rich began drawing in 1999. He enjoys making magical, Tarot-themed collage art that has grown popular with collectors, and he also works in photography. Rich served as a Certified Peer Counselor at Fountain House Studio for several years and made regular appearances as an actor on the original Law & Order TV franchise. Rich's play, The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe, had its Off-Off-Broadway world premiere in 2022 at the renowned Theater for the New City, where it attracted critical acclaim and played to sold-out houses.
Issa Ibrahim (b. 1965)
Issa finds meaning and purpose as an artist, musician, writer, filmmaker, activist, 25-year artist-in-residence at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Living Museum, and now as an artist of Fountain House Gallery. “Knocking down the icon” has been a major theme since his teen years, influenced in the late 1970s by punk rock. Anarchic takes on comic strip themes stay with Issa and resonate, lending him the capacity to merge the lowbrow with the erudite, the truth behind the fairy tale – what he calls “a fun house reflection of a bankrupt culture.” Issa is the author of the 2016 memoir The Hospital Always Wins. He has been featured on German public television, in an HBO documentary, and in an Edward R. Murrow and Third Coast award-winning NPR audio story. By creating “what if” scenarios, and infusing loving homage and nostalgic longing with harsh realities and biting satire, Issa wishes to express something honest and meaningful about contemporary society and the world we live in.
Roger Jones (b. 1956)
Roger’s preferred subject matter for his acrylic paintings includes scenes of New York City and its people, and representations of nature. His early work in portraiture has evolved into representations that often feature a multitude of faces inhabiting an urban environment. Primarily self-taught, he studied painting and book arts such as bookbinding via programs at the organization Community Access and cites the works of Picasso as an ongoing source of inspiration. His work has been presented at the Outsider Art Fair, and in a group exhibition at White Columns. Roger also creates jewelry pieces and offers them for sale at local bazaars.
Susan Spangenberg (b. 1974)
Susan started painting at the age of three and hasn't lost her childlike enthusiasm for creativity. She prefers to create alone, in self-isolation. She uses art to cope with the symptoms of her trauma and mental illness. Susan believes in the power of transcendence through the arts, honoring the process more than the presentation. Coming from a severely dysfunctional family which led to group homes and institutionalization in her teenage years, Susan cut her outsider artist teeth at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s renowned "Living Museum" art rehabilitation program. She was in the vanguard of the "Girl, Interrupted" female asylum artist wave that has in 20 years become the new normal, yet Susan has maintained the raw essence of that genre imbued with a 21st-century sensibility. Says Susan, "I create playful worlds – all of them raw, intuitive, impulsive, direct, emotional, psychedelic, and whimsical. I like to incorporate text and stream of consciousness writing in my art, including messages from my late twin brother. There are also elements of spiritual symbolism from my Trinidadian Indian ancestry and handsewn fabric throughout my work. I work in small and large format encompassing textile, mixed media, painting, body prints, and hand-made dolls." Susan performs as an actor under the stage name Shyla Idris.