Exhibit Helps the ‘Creative Growth’ Process
Art Gallery showcases the work of adults with disabilities
November 16, 2006 8:31 PM
SF State’s Art Gallery opened a new exhibit on Thursday, featuring brightly colored images created by artists involved with an Oakland, Calif., organization called Creative Growth Art Center.
The organization provides people with physical or mental disabilities the opportunity to create and display art. It is the first and largest independent art center for adults with disabilities and serves over 140 adults. The exhibit, “Who is an Outsider?” asks the public to see people outside of their handicaps.
“These people have amazing perspectives that not everyone has. They have a lot to bring to society and I feel it’s important for them to have a voice,” said Jaime Schwartz, manager of the Art Gallery. She said the exhibit is important because it gives those people who aren’t normally able to express themselves a way to be heard and valued by others.
“It’s enormously satisfying to have our artists cross over into the realm of contemporary art by collaboration with three of California’s premiere artists,” said Tom di Maria, director of Creative Growth Art Center in a press release.
“The pictures I created make me feel great. I feel Happy [sic]. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to work hard, to get where I am today,” Spruill wrote in his own cursive handwriting in a book from Creative Growth entitled “One is Adam One is Superman.”
Assistant director of the Art Gallery Sophie Johnson, feels that it’s a tool for release for most of these artists.
“I think it really raises the awareness of who is an artist and what is really art,” said Johnson. “Now they have people to listen to what they have to say.”
Originally the artwork was displayed on BART stations and trains to allow the project to reach a more diverse audience in the Bay Area. These images were viewed about 8 million times since last June. The campaign is meant to help raise awareness while allowing the artists to be appreciated.
“It’s really interesting and different,” said Jamie Lundy, 18, an English major at SF State. “It seems like a really creative way to let others see what they are capable of.”
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