Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present “Creative Growth,” an exhibition of ten artists associated with Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center. Founded in 1974, Creative Growth consists of a studio art program and a gallery that serves and supports mentally, physically, and developmentally disabled adult artists. The organization’s mission is to provide an environment that fosters and encourages the creative process, with the intention that people with disabilities can “gain strength and fulfillment through the visual arts.” A diverse group of more than 100 artists from all backgrounds - all of whom live in the Bay Area –work at Creative Growth’s studios which are housed in a former auto body shop near Oakland’s Auto Row. Writing in Frieze magazine in September 2006 James Trainor said: “Creative Growth isn’t a hospital, a clinic ... or even a school in the strictest sense. No formal instruction is given, and there are no theoretical programs about how to educate the autistic or schizophrenic. What it is is an experiment, now entering its fourth decade, rooted in distinctly northern California ideas about grassroots involvement, collective creativity and social change, about giving disenfranchised people the tools, space and support to express themselves.” The presentation of these ten artists offers a view into the broad spectrum and also the complexity of the art produced at Creative Growth.
Amie Scally is Deputy Director/Curator at White Columns, the New York-based alternative art space. White Columns has collaborated extensively with Creative Growth over the past seven years, raising both visibility and support for the Center, and has introduced the work of the artists to new audiences via exhibitions and projects at both national and international venues such as White Columns, New York; Frieze New York Art Fair; James Cohan Gallery, New York; Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York; Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Gladstone Gallery, New York; and Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles, amongst others.