Everything’s Fine: Surreal Paintings about Mental Health

Exhibit Info


Everything’s Fine: Surreal Paintings about Mental Health


August 7 to October 15, 2023


2nd Floor Reading Room


Presented in partnership with the Mayors Wellness Campaign community health initiative.

Artist Bio

Gwenn Seemel’s polka-dot cubist painting style has been delighting art lovers and inspiring artists for twenty years—so much so that in 2017 a tech company named one of their photo filters “the Seemel.” This unusual recognition of her contribution to the look of the new millennium struck Gwenn as both a compliment and a cheeky challenge from our future AI overlords to keep making original art that matters. For Gwenn, that means joyfully feminist paintings that refuse to let us forget how interconnected we are. This work has been featured across the web, on sites like Boing Boing, Bust, Your Creative Push, Hyperallergic, NJ.com, and Newsweek.

Artist Statement

We were already headed nowhere good in 2019 before the pandemic hit. Teens were reporting alarming increases in the prevalence of certain mental health challenges, with 1 in 3 students describing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. And then COVID hit. Today, though the safety measures for the virus have all but disappeared, the effects of years of remote learning and social distancing are still playing out for children of all ages as well as adults.

That’s where my new series of surreal paintings comes in. The collection is called Everything’s Fine, because I want to make it clear that I know everything’s not. There’s the virus whose long term impact is still to be determined as well as the ever scarier threats of global warming and the daily trauma of systemic racism, misogyny, gun violence, and the unrelenting political divide. Amidst these pressures, I don’t want anyone to think they’re the only one struggling with anxiety or depression.

These images are a starting place. “I feel like this,” you might say, pointing to one in particular. You could use a postcard as a bookmark—a private reminder that at least one other person, AKA me, has felt like you. Or maybe you make it public, setting one of the images as your profile pic. However you use it, I want Everything’s Fine to feel like it belongs to you as much it does to me. These images were designed with you in mind, both because I need to feel like I’m not alone and because I want you to feel that connection as well.

Artist Website


Scroll to Top