And, we’re live! Visit our new site,

The Foundation finally has a new digital home, at Months in the making, our new site features artist information, image galleries, educational tools, and online exhibitions. We are also moving our blog over to the new site, so please visit to keep up with events and information related to outsider and self-taught artists.

As always, we value suggestions and ideas, so if you have comments on the new site, feel free to contact the Foundation.




“Martín Ramírez: Landscapes” on view at Ricco/Maresca Gallery

“Martín Ramírez: Landscapes” is on view at Ricco/Maresca through November 12, 2011, and the gallery has kindly shared some beautiful installation shots. Enjoy!

The Museum of Everything Coming to London Department Store

Harald Stoffers (Galerie der Villa, Germany) / Courtesy The Museum of Everything

Beginning September 2, the Museum of Everything’s Exhibition #4 will be on view in Selfridges, an established British department store. Occupying the windows and exhibition space of the Oxford Street, London, branch, the show will be accompanied by the “Shop of Everything,” which will sell clothes and products inspired by the displayed works. Proceeds from the shop will benefit the Museum.

Exhibition #4 will showcase works from around the globe, including those by established self-taught artist Judith Scott as well as by lesser known outsider artmakers. The shop will sell clothes by Clements Ribeiro and shoes by Tracey Neuls designed in response to the artworks.

This exhibition is breaking the mold in so many interesting ways. By bringing a museum to a public shopping space, the works will be accessible to many new audiences who would never think or wish to visit a traditional museum setting. The connection between fashion designers and the Museum might also be particularly fruitful, as the intricate, colorful works in this exhibition should certainly inspire creativity. If the MET’s recent Alexander McQueen exhibition is any indication, fashion as an art form is craved by the public, and I am excited to see how fashion, as directly inspired by outsider artworks, will be adopted or accepted.

Exhibition #4 will remain on view through October 25, 2011.

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

As August winds down, galleries and museums are gearing up for the fall. Some of the interesting current and upcoming shows featuring work by self-taught artists include:

Sam Doyle / Dr. Crow / c. 1980-1985 / Housepaint on tin / 42.5 x 26.5 in.

Into the Mainstream: Self-Taught Artists from the Garbish and Gordon Collections,” at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, on view through December 31, 2011. This exhibition, organized in conjunction with Old Dominion University, considers the position of self-taught and folk artists with the narratives of art history.

You Better Be Listening: Text in Self-Taught Art,” on view at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, through January 14, 2012. Highlighting the multiple uses of text in works of outsider art, “You Better Be Listening” draws on works by Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan,  Dwight Mackintosh, and Royal Robertson.

Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the Collection,” at the Menil Collection, Houston. Organized around works by artists who had little contact with the mainstream art world, “Seeing Stars” will include drawings by Charles A.A. Dellschau, Bill Traylor, Adolf Wölfii, and Joseph Yoakum, among others. Opening September 23, 2011, the exhibition will remain on view through January 15, 2012.

Simply Iconic,” a selection of works by artists including Sam Doyle, Herbert Singleton, and Purvis Young, on view at La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, from September 2 through October 3, 2011.

Minnie Evans: Paintings and Drawings,” at Luise Ross Gallery, New York.  On view from September 8 to October 29, 2011, this show will feature works spanning four decades of the artist’s career.

…and a Peek at Our New Image Gallery

As part of our site redesign and expansion, the Foundation is focused on making work by self taught artists as accessible as possible. To that end, we will not only have enhanced and exciting pages devoted to individual artists, but will also have an image gallery featuring works from many artists in a single place. Users will be able to search the gallery for artworks using selection criteria including material, date, collection, and–of course–maker.

I’ve attached an image showing how the gallery should look. Enjoy!

Click on the image above to see a higher-resolution version of the page.

A Sneak Peek at Our New Homepage…

Click on the image above to see a higher-resolution version of the page.

New Logo, New Name, New Direction

Exciting things are afoot here at the Foundation. As many of you know, we are in the process of creating a new website that features extensive image galleries, temporary virtual exhibitions, up-to-the-moment news about the field of outsider and self taught art, and expanded artist pages and educational resources. To accompany our new site, we have a new name and a brand new logo.

Beginning in September, we will be the Foundation for Self Taught Artists. This name change shows our expanding commitment to self taught artworks and artists from around the globe as well as the United States.

Here is a peek at our new logo; enjoy!

Mikey Wild: Artist, Musician, South Philly Legend

Mikey Wild / Teenage Jesus / 2008 / Pageant Soloveev Gallery / Photo by Samantha Mitchell

By Samantha Mitchell

Michael Deluca, known as  Mikey Wild, died May 25th, 2011.  A life-long resident of South Philadelphia commonly known as the Mayor of South Street, Wild was a charismatic personality who will be remembered for his unique presence in the neighborhood as well as for his art and music.  His distinctive voice and unique lyrics were showcased by a number of Philadelphia punk bands (including but not exclusive to the Mess, the Magic Lanterns, The Hard-Ons and Scareho) with songs like “I Hate New York” and “I Was Punk B4 You Were Punk.”  In the 1970s he opened for Lou Reed and GG Allin, and was an active performer for more than 30 years.

Wild also created hundreds of vivid works on paper.  His art communicates a fascination with icons of music, horror films, and religion, and he created eerie portraits of John Lennon, B-movie monsters, Jesus, and most frequently, Vincent Price  (Wild’s preoccupation with Price is apparent in the short film Paying the Price, in which Wild portrays both the actor and his evil twin brother).

Wild created works on paper with markers, acrylic paint, and watercolor, depicting a unique reality of characters brought together by his own perceptive logic and wry sense of humor.  In one drawing a teenage Jesus is confronted by his mother when he is caught smoking a cigarette; another depicts “Christopher Lee as Dracula beating a turkey.”  Wild’s style is graphic and visceral; the drawings sharp and immediate, the paintings hazy and surreal, incorporating iconic characters into a shared unreality.  His unique perspective combines an isolation from and immersion in popular culture, which is dually comic and disturbing.

With a history of mental illness, Wild spent some of his youth in institutions, treated with a combination of shock therapy and medication.  His artwork is reminiscent of other talented and unique musicians with painful histories of encounters with mental rehabilitation facilities, like Roky Erickson (front man of the 13th Floor Elevators) and Daniel Johnston.  All three conveyed their realities in conglomerated visual works that blurred the line between the real and the imaginary, expressing fascination with both the horrific and the comical with a lack of self-consciousness.

Mikey Wild Installation at Pageant Soloveev Gallery / Photo by Samantha Mitchell

Mikey Wild’s work is currently hung at  Pageant Soloveev Gallery (607 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia), where owner Daniel Dalseth held an auction of  paintings and drawings last month, as well as the South Philadelphia bars 12 Steps Down (831 Christian Street) and Connie’s Ric-Rac (1132 S. 9th Street).

American Folk Art Museum to leave 53rd Street Building July 9, 2011

In an announcement released earlier today, the American Folk Art Museum revealed that they will close their 53rd Street building on July 9, 2011. This news follows AFAM’s May decision to sell the Tod Williams Billie Tsien-designed building to the Museum of Modern Art. I hope to visit the 53rd Street museum one last time before the doors close, and I hope many of you will have the opportunity to also.

Moving forward, the museum will operate in their Lincoln Square branch, on Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets.

Conference on the Conservation of Folk and Outsider Art Scheduled for February 2012

Clementine Hunter / Camitte the Hair-Fixer Is Doing Ceola's Hair / 1930s / Oil on paper / 11 3/4 x 14 3/4 in. / Collection Gordon W. Bailey

“Divine Disorder, Conserving the Chaos: Conference on the Conservation of Folk and Outsider Art” will be held February 15 and 16, 2012, at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, Louisiana. The conference organizer, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, is still soliciting presentation proposals that discuss topics relevant to Outsider and Folk art conservation and preservation. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is October 1, 2011; early registration rates are in effect through December 31, 2011.

Renowned artist Clementine Hunter lived near Natchitoches, so conference attendees can use the opportunity to also visit Hunter’s home, Melrose Plantation, where they can see Hunter’s murals!