Established in 1974, the Creative Growth Art Center, was conceived during a time when people with disabilities were being deinstitutionalized in California. Founders, Florence and Elias Katz created the space with the inclusive individual in mind. Creative Growth provides an open area, shared workspace that serves people with developmental, physical and mental disabilities, along with professional exhibition space that presents seven exhibitions annually. With unending limits of artistic expression and an inspired environment, Creative Growth has successfully served artists and led them onto professional careers. Scanning their list of exhibiting artists, Creative Growth boasts an immense list of both longtime artists, such as William Tyler since 1978, and new artists, like Ying Ge Zhou since 2010. With an international focus, Creative Growth has welcomed individuals from all over the world to participate in their open studio programming.
Creative Growth's current exhibition, Matters At Hand, showcases the approaches to three-dimensional works of art through the multimedia use of wood, ceramic, installation and fiber, all by working artists at the Creative Growth Studio. Viewing the dynamic subject matter with the apparent innovative practice, each artist showcases an exploration into their individual medium and inspiration. Past exhibitions such as HOME Show and RE/Configurations have selected artists to discuss issues of identity, displacement, personal connection and the human condition.
Not only do these artists present in-house exhibitions, but have been shown extensively both nationally and internationally. From major art fairs, such as the Venice Biennial and CONDO, to major museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Creative Growth has successfully developed talent that is in high demand across the world. They have also collaborated with corporations such as Anthropologie, Levis, and Target to elevate their artists' exposure within non-art realms. Currently considered very valuable by interested collectors, Creative Growth artists offer a genuine artistic expression that is rarely seen within mainstream art and as our ideals of inclusive spaces expands, these artists, their inspirations and their talented practice are a welcomed departure.
Check out more of Creative Growth Art Center and their artists.
During such a politically charged time for the United States, our current politicians and their platforms are being rightly criticized, and consequently greater visibility of the imbalance of power of gender and race has become a priority. A record number of women candidates, some 575, from all over the country have risen to the electoral ballot, running for both national and local government, in the hopes of ultimately facilitating necessary equal representation. In celebration of this, a recent group exhibition at the Robert Mann Gallery is showcasing an entirely female cast of artists who have produced work dedicated to these powerful women and their agendas.
In Her Hands is curated by famous fiber artists Orly Cogan and Julie Peppito, both of whom successfully constructed an exhibition that has empowered the female artists and the political champions who have inspired their creations. A powerful presentation of both agency and action, the focus of the exhibition makes for one of expressing necessary social change. Equal part a call to action and a superb demonstration of fiber art, In Her Hands comes as a timely reminder of the feminist ideal and the individual power that can be heard throughout the world.
Up through August 17, view the complete press release at Robert Mann Gallery
Title image: Laurel Garcia Colvin, Barbara, we have come a long way, but are there young woman to fill our shoes?, 2015. Courtesy of Robert Mann Gallery.
Education has asserted a recent debate over the importance of including arts into the standardized educational system. Over the past decade with ever increasing budgetary cuts to education, schools have had to make tough decisions regarding their curriculum; sustaining the priority of technology and the sciences, and consequently reducing the arts. This shift has stirred up a conversation on the continuing importance of arts education within our schools and beyond. The current acronym for the frequently accepted education system is STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In more recent years, "Art" has been added, repositioning the acronym to STEAM. This change in wordage however is merely a concept that requires action.
Arts education spans a vast definition, including that of performing arts, visual arts, music and design. Studying these practices have shown time and again how they allow individuals to improve on numerous elements of thinking, communication and problem solving. With the rise of science-based fields that require these very factors, art museums, schools and other educational institutions are providing more opportunities for children to experience art alongside science. Denver Art Museum has designed a "maker's space" entitled Design Lab, that promotes daily interactive participation through "design challenges", an opportunity for a child to utilize math, science and art all in order to create a solution to a design problem. This process allows the child to imagine and use skills associated with all elements of STEAM to complete the project. This is just one example of the many programs that institutions are establishing to showcase the importance of STEAM and its rightful place within standardized education. This connection between science, math and technology to art helps to enable the creative and innovative young mind, but also expands the use of problem solving and communication, allowing for an overall stronger development of STEAM.
Title image: Wall at Newark Museum's Makerspace
This month, Eritrea joined the list of significant spots on the planet that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has recognized as culturally and historically significant. Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, presents rare, early examples of Art Deco architecture from the beginning of the 20th century. The city's numerous Modernist buildings are products of the country's early origins as an Italian colony. From 1889 until World War II, Asmara's population was made up of half Italians and was a prominent location for Italian architects to test some of their more adventurous designs, resulting in some spectacular structures.
Not exactly known as an art hub, the small country of Eritrea, off the east coast of Africa, is more readily in the news for their substantial sanitation and food struggles of recent. A country that is steeped in rough political history and still currently under a repressive regime. As an addition to the World Heritage Site list, recipients expect that with recognition comes tourism and financial growth. As a main feature of the acclaim, Eritrea's government lobbied hard for this esteem in the hopes that it will bring pride and profit. Eritrea's financial situation however, was a point of controversy as some members thought the country could not afford to maintain the structures.
Some of the highlights seen throughout the city include an Art Deco bowling alley, Fiat service station, and numerous residencies. Each displays a radical flair that is site specific, a Modernist twist within an African context. These buildings showcase the constant creativity that was allowed to spawn in Asmara, regardless of the otherwise conservative European ideals that were so prominent during that period.