Patients of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens County, outside Manhattan, New York, find refuge in this 44,000 square feet (14,000 square meters) warehouse (a former institutional kitchen for 7,000 patients with adjacent dining room) to paint, create, sculpture, write, draw and craft. Released from the institution and under continuous medical observance, the artists include even some former murder convicts.
But no worries, despite some first reservation, one accustoms quickly to this colorful and happy place where music plays all day long, and is invited to participate, for instance, in painting the earthquake room – one of many theme rooms (others include a plant room, worship room or hospital room) or chat with some artists about their work.
The resultant art pieces are often self portraits and mirrors of the artists’ inner self – embodied in all kind of themes, including religion, violence, torture and sex.
The Living Museum is currently busy and buzzing with preparations to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its founding by Dr. Janos Marton and the polish artist Bolek Greczynski. Visitors are welcome and can contact the following number: Tel.: (718) 264-3490
80-45 Winchester Boulevard, Queens Village NY 11427
by Cosima Bucarelli