Art by Patients with Mental Illness

Showcase of Artists from the LIVING MUSEUM of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center

[From June 5 to July 10, 2004] Dabora Gallery presented a showcase of artists from the LIVING MUSEUM of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. The LIVING MUSEUM in Queens, New York, was the first museum in the United States dedicated to the production and collection of art by people with mental illness.

Founded in 1983 by Bolek Greczynski and Dr. Janos Marton, the museum was a 40,000 square foot oasis for innovative therapeutic healing through creative expression. By allowing freedom of expression in a completely safe and nurturing environment, the stigmatized self of "mental patient" can be transformed into "artist", creating a more positive and useful identity.

Here their differences were accepted, even encouraged. Marton believed that anyone who has had a mental breakdown or psychotic experience can come out creating great works of art. He believed that this breaking down of barriers enables communication with a certain power in the universe that all artists are continually striving to achieve.
The art of the LIVING MUSEUM is dynamic, honest, and provocative. Many artists here were held in high esteem in the art world, garnering rave reviews from critics. The LIVING MUSEUM and its artists were the subject of the critically acclaimed HBO documentary "Living Museum" and several outside exhibitions have been held at various New York art establishments including the Queens Museum of Art and Ricco-Maresca Gallery [1].
Adapted from

The Living Museum
80-45 Winchester Boulevard
Queens Village, NY 11427
Neighborhood: Bellaire
(718) 264-3490

When Art Is No Longer Just a Pretty Picture

Arts for Advocacy and Social Change: A Patient activist perspective
by Regina Holliday, Artist, Muralist, Speaker at Medical Advocacy Mural Project on Sep 09, 2013

A quote from the slide show [2]:

Let Patients Speak We must encourage every committee, conference and hospital board, to actively recruit and include patients in every aspect of the care process from design to implementation to resolution. Invite patients and you will include artists, poets and writers in creating health policy.

For additional information, go to Outsider Art for Social Change.

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