Next stop on our Friday night tour was Creative Growth Gallery on 24th Street near Broadway for their annual holiday show & sale… and what a stop it was! I can’t believe I’ve never been to this place. I think it’s one of those Oaktown secrets. Or maybe I’m just slow.
The Creative Growth Art Center provides studio arts training by professional artists to adults with mental, physical, and developmental disabilities. The center’s mission is “to provide a safe environment that fosters and nurtures the creative process, and to promote and market the art of people with physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities.”
It was the first of its kind in the nation when established over 30 years ago, and it’s been going strong ever since… producing works of art exhibited in, and collected by, such revered institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco’s MOMA, and other major museums & galleries throughout the world.
In 2008 they completed a full one-million dollar plus renovation of their building, to provide their 140 artists “a better, safer and more organized studio and healthier place to be.” They also opened a gallery in Paris called Galerie Impaire, in order to further the representation of their artists, and provide greater exposure of disabled artists’ works to contemporary art collectors. These folks aren’t kidding around.
They currently have a holiday window display at Barneys in San Francisco (77 O’Farrell Street), and recently teamed up with celebrated fashion designer Marc Jacobs to produce a limited collection of wallets, t-shirts, and tote & shoulder bags, designed by four Creative Growth artists: Louis Estape, Dan Miller, William Scott, and Gerone Spruill. Awesome.
From the look of things Friday night, I’d say their holiday sale is one not to be missed… I only wish I was telling you about it beforehand and not after, but you’ll just have to mark your calendars for 2010.
There was an incredible display of the widest variety of art I’ve seen at any of the galleries in Oakland. They had everything from handmade clothing, to 70’s style latchkey rugs and embroidery work (I bought one of these and it is very cool!), paintings, prints, mixed media, pottery, housewares, greeting cards… the list goes on and on. In addition to the gallery displayed pieces, the studio area (which is HUGE) was filled to the gills with tables and bins and boxes of bargain basement priced art. $10 tables, $5 tables, $2 bins… I bought my Christmas cards (see below) and gifts to boot.
Here’s a shot of the cards I got… designed by Lolita Triplette… isn’t it groovy? I love the little dragon tree-topper!
They also got me for an annual membership. Gotta support the arts!
And hey, if you missed this one and want to check them out, they have other events throughout the year. Go to their website and either become a Facebook fan to be kept informed about upcoming events, or better yet, become a member. You’ll be supporting a fantastic organization, and you’ll get 10% off any art purchases. What a deal!