An open call to New York City artists confronting mental health

Curated by Karen Gormandy & Issa Ibrahim


Outside Outsider (Art Exhibition and Film Screening) proposes to blur the lines of established and preconceived ideas of art created by the "mentally ill." Outside Outsider will feature work that moves the boundary lines and disposes of the term “naïve” or unschooled and explores the complexity and sophistication of many people who have disclosed their diagnosis but refuse to be defined by it.  We will include work by artists who are intentional, worldly, knowledgeable, aware and woke.

This is an open call to all artists confronting mental illness.  Work will be considered in all genres from artists who ruminate on the suffering, healing and the stigma associated with mental health.

Please include in the Artist Statement section a one paragraph description of you and your work and why you believe it qualifies for this show.

Background of Curators:

Karen Gormandy is the  Director for Fountain House Studio. She began as a volunteer with the gallery 10 years ago when her son, a Fountain House member, introduced her to the gallery.  Along with an intrepid group of determined artists she saw the growth of the studio program from two trays of markers, pens, pencils and a few tubes of acrylic paint to a full blown fully equipped art studio in Long Island City.  She is a former board member for NAMI New York City, NAMI New York state and NAMI Harlem and is also a literary agent at Harold Ober Associates who proudly represent the estate of Langston Hughes.  She attended the High School of Art & Design, has a bachelor's degree in film from Montana State University and received her master's degree in creative writing at Manhattanville College, all of these disciplines now serve to enrich the experience of offering guidance, support and education to the artists of Fountain House.  She currently facilitates Fountain House's virtual studio program which includes art history, technique and lively artists discussions.

Issa Ibrahim is a graduate of New York City’s High School of Art and Design, and studied at the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League. He was institutionalized at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Living Museum, where he reclaimed his life and found meaning as an artist, musician, writer, activist, and 25-year artist-in-residence. Issa is the author of The Hospital Always Wins: A Memoir, published in 2016 by Chicago Review Press. The book was met with laudatory reviews leading to interviews on NPR and other radio outlets, international press, and features including coverage in O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine.He is an active member-artist of Fountain House Gallery.


Matt Cauley
Dino Blanche
Natalie Woodson
Chastity Colon
Kaiser Kamal
Jody McDonald
Eva Brandenburg
Junyi Liu
Villo  Varga
Anthony Newton
Evelyn Gardiner
Kim Zack
Bryan Greene
Sarah King
Susan Spangenberg
Pamela and Angela Rogers
Alyson Vega
Andrea Segatto
Kelly Han
Nancy Reghay
Hisayasu Takashio
Helena Holland Berger

Film Festival
Alyson Vega
Eugenia Pigassiou
Andrew Koloski
Susan Spangenberg
Dirk Rowntree
Adele Shtern

Performance opening for the Film Festival
Neesa Sunar

(Covid-19 health conditions  permitting)

On View (Virtual and in person):

May 15 – June 12, 2021

Opening Reception: May 15, 2021 (Timed Tickets will be available 


Local Project, 11-27 44th Rd,  Long Island City, NY 11101

Dates for Reading/Music Performance, Film Screening, Curator Talk, Panel Discussion: coming  soon!

Thank you to our venue partner, LOCAL PROJECT


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LIC Artists, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts advocacy organization founded by artists and incorporated in 1986 in Long Island City.
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