Creative Growth Art Center is the oldest and largest art center of its kind, serving over 150 adults and young adults with developmental, physical, emotional, and mental disabilities. Located in Oakland, CA, Creative Growth Art Center is dedicated to the idea that people with disabilities can gain strength, enjoyment and fulfillment through the visual arts. Our 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.
“Without exaggerating, Creative Growth is probably the most important cultural organization I’ve ever encountered.”
– Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns Gallery, New York (October 18, 2009)
Now in its 36th year, Creative Growth Art Center has played a singular role in the American arts landscape by positioning artists with disabilities into the top realm of the contemporary art world. In 2008, CGAC artist Dan Miller’s artwork was on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in the exhibition Glossolalia: Languages of Drawing. Following the exhibition, the museum acquired 4 of Miller’s drawings for its permanent collection—a first for an artist such as Dan Miller. CGAC furthered its leadership in the field by opening Galerie Impaire (http://galerieimpaire.fr), its nonprofit gallery in Paris that has broadened the contemporary arts landscape by presenting artists with disabilities and self-taught artists from around the world.
Creative Growth Art Center has placed the work of its artists in private collections, galleries, and major museums throughout the world including the Collection lÕArt Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland; Collection lÕAracine in Lille, France; the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; the Ricco/Maresca Gallery and the American Museum of Folk Art in New York City. CGAC has also coordinated Margins and Mainstreams: Arts and Disabilities Symposium with the Folk Art Society and became the first arts and disabilities organization to present at the Outsider Art Fair, New York. CGAC received critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, ArtWeek, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Raw Vision magazine, Paper magazine, and O! magazine. In addition, CGAC has published three award-winning books on artists with disabilities; was recognized as a national model by CNN, The New York Times, NPR, KQED’s SPARK, ABC World News Tonight, and the John F. Kennedy Center; and mentored the start-up of over 30 arts and disabilities organizations nationally and internationally.