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Visionaries of the Light
August 28, 2017 - December 10, 2017
Organized by NAEMI (National Art Exhibitions of the Mentally Ill). Curated by Ricardo Viera.
The term “outsider art” was coined by the English critic Roger Cardinal in 1972, taking as a starting point the original concept of “Art Brut” by French artist Jean Dubuffet. Today many terminologies exist—“visionary”, “self-taught”, “art of the mentally ill”—but ultimately it is the term “outsiders” (those who do not conform to any official pattern) that continues to organize this wide-ranging reality in a more neutral way. NAEMI (National Art Exhibitions of the Mentally Ill, Inc.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to discovering, studying, promoting, exhibiting, and preserving the art of those struggling with mental illness throughout the world. These artists are typically self-taught and without any formal artistic training. This exhibition surveys contemporary photographic techniques—including pinhole, collage, and sculpture—from NAEMI’s permanent collection of over one-thousand works. NAEMI founder Juan Martín calls the artists in this exhibition “alchemists” who merge visible and invisible worlds.
Produced by: Steven Lichak DMS Studios Lehigh University