Located on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Centers grounds, in an old kitchen facility, is a patient produced art gallery. The building is relatively difficult to find. After driving around for a while and stopping at the wrong building, we noticed a sign outside the gallery. The outside of the building has some interesting art scattered about the landscape, including some small sculptures and random items hanging from a small tree. There were patients sitting outside and a few hens and roosters running around, making for an interesting start to our visit. Questioning the patients lounging outside revealed the museum was open.
We entered a door with artwork upon it and found ourselves in the lobby. What we saw was simply stunning, to say the least. The interior was packed with artwork of all kinds. The creativity of the artists was not stifled in the least. The art was intriguing, allowing you to get into the minds of the patients. There was everything from images of heaven, hell and purgatory, to a mannequins legs sticking out of a mixing pot with paper plates swirling around the interior. Almost every inch of the walls had paintings on it. Every cubic inch of space had a sculpture or other creation filling it. We spoke to a man who appeared to be the director of this gallery. We asked if patients created all the works. He replied in a heavy European accent, indeed. We were simply astonished that the patients had created such professional gallery-quality art. After taking our time perusing the gallery and chatting with some of the artists about their work, we said goodbye and departed for the next adventure.
This museum most certainly is, a living museum of the most interesting kind. You get to view the artists creating the art, and talk to them. The artwork is constantly changing and the building itself is quite impressive. The building is a converted kitchen from the old days of the center. Its former use is quite apparent. The large exhaust hood and ovens still dominate the building and are even incorporated into the displays. There is something for everyone to experience: art, the therapy patients receive from expressing themselves, and some of the history of the structure reused. The Living Museum was, without a doubt, the best art gallery I have ever visited. Best of all, admission is free!