Special (Needs) Art

Special (Needs) Art

There has long been recognition of art that is thought to be somehow outside the "tradition."  For example, art brut, outsider art, children’s art, graffiti, primitive art, etc.

More recently, over the last forty years or so, studios and galleries have opened for developmentally challenged people which goes deeper into the human psyche & its creativity than the occupational therapies of the bad old days. (Basket weaving, anybody?)

Here in the Bay Area we have a great example: a studio and gallery called Creative Growth Art Center.  It “advances the inclusion of artists with developmental disabilities in contemporary art”  with a large work space and gallery in Oakland.  It also reaches out to the rest of the world through collaborations, exhibitions, art fairs and commercial relationships.

The piece shown above is by Nicole Storm, who has been working at Creative Growth for 25 years.
 
“For most of our artists, the creative process is not linear. They are not bound to conventional methods of creation and are particularly comfortable adopting spontaneous strategies. Nicole Storm is a perfect example of this mastery with her confidence in execution, security with materials, and her ability to quickly incorporate new ideas and information with exceptional ease and grace. During Nicole’s first installation in Creative Growth’s gallery, I had no idea how she would approach the opportunity or what the result would be. What emerged was an immersive installation that spanned the height of the walls, spread across the floor, hung from the lighting grid, and seemed to gain momentum as time went on. It was the day she began using her installation as a workspace that we all felt we had witnessed something profound. I’d like to thank Matthew Higgs and his team for giving Nicole the opportunity to bring her fullest expression to New York.”

Sarah Galender Meyer, Creative Growth Gallery Director, on the installation of Nicole's work at White Columns in New York
 
Creative Growth Art Center
In these newsletters you will find, in no order or purpose whatsoever, brief discussions of art and artists as I have found them after having wandered many years down the beautiful streets of art.  Like my counterpart, the flaneur, I go where the fancy of the moment takes me.
 
Stephen Gerstman Art
 
Copyright © 2021 Stephen Gerstman, All rights reserved.

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