New York, NY – Fountain House Gallery hosts “Empowered to Create,” a fine art group exhibit and auction in New York City presented by the advocacy group, Emotions Matter, which includes a photograph by New York artist Xiomáro together with the posthumous display of a painting by his daughter. The one-day art show and auction, on Thursday, May 18, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, seeks to raise public awareness for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) – a complex and debilitating condition that affects 6 out of every 100 people – and advocate for better mental health care. Admission is free, but a $20 donation is suggested.
Xiomaro (pronounced “SEE-oh-MAH-ro”) is an internationally recognized artist, writer and speaker whose photography has been covered by The New York Times, CBS Eyewitness News and Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. His photography has been widely exhibited at New York City’s Fraunces Tavern Museum and African Burial Ground National Monument as well as at Harvard University and other major institutions.
In 2016, Xio’s daughter, Jessica, died from an accidental drug overdose after years of struggling with BPD, a complex and debilitating disorder of understanding and regulating one’s own emotions that leads to impulsivity, distortions of thought, identity disturbance, stormy interpersonal relationships, rage outbursts, self-harm, self-injury and suicidality.
An artist and poet, Jessica’s 30”x30” painting titled “My Iron Lung” (2015) is a metaphor for her drug use as a way of feeling normal amid chronic mental illness. The violent imagery includes an actual rubber hose representing the lung together with the words “chain saws” and “Fight Back” appearing in the center from collaged newsprint. The painting will be exhibited together with a 17”x25” print of a dead Blue Jay photographed by Xiomáro as part of a commission from the National Park Service.
The exhibit will include about 40 other two dimensional pieces from artists having a personal connection to, and experience with, BPD such as individual sufferers as well as their parents, siblings, spouses and partners.
The art has been selected by an appointed committee of curators from Emotions Matter, a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 2015 dedicated to empowering individuals impacted by BPD and advocating for better mental health care. Six out of every 100 people will develop this disorder in his/her lifetime with between 50 to 80% also having a substance abuse disorder. The impairment in functioning is as great as that due to bipolar disorder. Yet, BPD, which is at least as prevalent, gets only one-tenth the funding of bipolar disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health, the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. Worse yet, BPD is not a billable diagnosis and therefore does not get covered by insurance.
Through the exhibit, Emotions Matter seeks to empower those impacted by BPD to utilize art as a means of expression and hope, to raise public awareness of BPD through art, and to raise funds for the organization. Artists will have the option to donate their pieces for auction. One hundred percent of funds raised will support Emotions Matter. Fountain House Gallery is the perfect venue for the exhibit as the gallery was founded to provide an environment for artists living and working with mental illness to pursue their creative visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
The art show and auction, “Empowered to Create,” takes place on Thursday, May 18, 2017, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Fountain House Gallery, 702 Ninth Avenue (at 48th Street), NY, NY 10019, (212) 262-2756, www.fountainhousegallery.org. Admission is free, but a $20 donation is suggested. Click here to RSVP. For more information about Emotions Matter and BPD, visit www.emotionsmatterbpd.org. A free e-book containing some of Xiomaro’s work is available at www.xiomaro.com.
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