Processing the things of life and molding them differently comes not from the ordinary of us; the artist is extra-ordinary, an alien amongst the natives.™
The International Outsider Exhibition of Modern Art (Ioema) Collection holds over 300 original artist paintings, drawings, sculptures and odd combinations. All of the works were submitted by the artist at outsiderart.info (originally innercityartist.com) . If I liked their work or thought my visitors would, I emailed them back and agreed to show their work online in exchange for an original. From 1999 through early 2019, art from all over the world arrived at my front porch. Almost all of the artists had a personal story to tell through their work. A few, like Mikey Welsh, William Thomas Thompson, Michael Hoffee, Norbert Kox, Khara Oxier and others became good friends while some I spoke with on the phone, learning more than color and line. I met Thompson (who sat on my back porch for hours after returning from the American Visionary Art Museum), Norbert Kox (when he stopped by the house to pick up four of his paintings I retrieved from an exhibition in Pittsburgh) and George Heslet jr. I stood in Welsh's studio and awed at Heslet's basement lair. Mostly though, artists and I just traded emails. Our artists use art to express unburst joy, deep unending sorrow, years of abuse and the ecstasy of survival. Some survived because of art. Most are self taught, outsiders. Some have died (Welsh, Hoffee, Kox, Garieri,Teague, Cholla, Heslet). Others quit making art. Most are still at it, creating new works.