The origins of NAEMI.

Founded in 1988, NAEMI emerges while Juan Martin, the Executive Director, worked providing counselling to mentally disabled persons at a community mental health center in Miami. After encouraging a client to paint as a way to escape his intense suffering, Martin remembers how he liked that art work and realized at that moment that there were probably many other talented persons in psychiatric hospitals waiting tobe discovered.

This first artist that Martin discovered never again picked up a paint brush, erroneously deciding that he was not an artist. Yet, his extraordinary work remains a testimony of his error. These artists have a great need to express what is going on in their world regardless of the latest fashion trend in the mesmerizing world of contemporary art.

In the past 30 years, NAEMI has been a pioneer of this field of outsider art by developing various projects, conferences, workshops and activities with experts in the visual arts, literary and mental health professions. NAEMI exhibitions have been annually shown in Miami and have circulated in various museums and art galleries throughout the United States, from New York to Washington D.C; In European Union in Spain and in Belgium. In Latin America in Cuba, Chile,Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay and Guatemala.

Due to the lack of publications concerning mentally ill artists – especially in the Spanish context – NAEMI has considered it very important to facilitate the publication of books and catalogs to get people familiar not only with the artists whose work is displayed in the collection, but also with the idea and existence of this specific type of art.  Also, these publications can be a reference for those who work in the field thanks to the articles written by experts in the field of mental health, education, art as a source of information.

what we do

We foster the artistic development of artists recovering from mental illnesses.

The art of those recovering from mental illnesses, as defined for the purposes of NAEMI, refers to the art produced by individuals, usually self-taught and without any formal artistic training, whose work arises from an intense, innate personal vision.

Through public exhibitions NAEMI seeks to educate the public about this art and to aid in overcoming and dispelling any negative bias associated with the circumstances of its production and to affirm the positive power and importance of the creativity of individuals experiencing mental illnesses.


Supporting, promoting and managing outsider artists since 1998







We accept donations

NAEMI is a non profit organization based in the United States, founded in 1988. NAEMI’s main goal is to discover, study, promote, exhibit and preserve the art of people recovering from mental illness.

NAEMI seeks to increase artists’ credibility in a society that would otherwise ostracize them. Often ignored by society and the artists, themselves, we allow these artists to value their own work.

In the past three decades, NAEMI has developed numerous projects. In addition to the annual exhibition in Miami, the collection has traveled to numerous museums and galleries in the United States, Spain, Cuba, Belgium, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia and Mexico.

We welcome all contributions and donations. If you would like to donate to NAEMI via PayPal, please click the button below.

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