Creativity is loosely defined as: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, relationships and creating new, progressive ideas, forms, methods, and interpretations. It appears that we all have the ability to be creative. Many of us who are not in explicitly creative fields undoubtedly come up with new insights and visions that surely fall under this definition, right? Creativity comes in all forms.Just take Creativity Explored, for example, a non-profit that is changing the way we view visual artists. Nestled in the Mission District, this arts center provides people with developmental disabilities the chance to express themselves through the creation of art.
"A lot of people have started their art collections here," that's Ann Kappes, Creativity Explored marketing & business development director who we spoke to a couple weeks ago. She herself admits to having a large eclectic collection of work in her home. "I live in a studio apartment and my walls are full with artwork. I've probably purchased about 14 pieces from the studio. I have a few whimsical pieces by Diane Scaccalosi, Evelyn Reyes and Mignon Wilson—she loves to draw portraits of music stars. I own her portrait of Cindy Lauper! It's hard to say which is my favorite, though..."
Studio artists at Creativity Explored are said to express their thoughts, emotions, experiences, and cultures to their peers, instructors, patrons, and art lovers, they also engage with a broad and supportive community. "Our current show serves as a basis of a future collaboration with the California Center For The Arts. We've always been synergistic within the community and design world," Ann explains.
Their gallery operation continues to increase, encompassing a growing array of different styles and mediums. Their related Art Services and Licensing Programs have expanded studio artists' commercial success and visibility within retail and residential development markets. Many of their artist have licensed artwork with CB2, and you can find their work on tote bags, shower curtains, plates, pillows, and even rugs. "Our artist are respected in the art community. Many have a style that people look for," Ann says. "We really value our long term projects."
"We’ve linked our artist with architects like David Baker and developers as well. People appreciate having original artwork in their commercial buildings. We have also outfitted an entire house for a client." Buying a piece of artwork is an exciting privilege, especially when you can meet artist. At Creativity Explored, clients have the opportunity to commission work and see the artistic process first-hand—a remarkable experience that has, in some cases, evolved into special relationships.
Studio Artist Moses Brown (above) told Creativity Explored in an interview, “Sometimes I think of myself as parachuting into my artwork.” Born in Brazil in 1973, Brown relocated to Arcata, CA, before finally settling in San Francisco to “expand (his) knowledge.”
Many Creativity Explored artists have developed meaningful arts practices and are now becoming increasingly recognized for their contributions to the contemporary art world. In addition to participating in numerous group exhibitions in the Bay Area, Creativity Explored artists have had solo shows in New Zealand and Australia. Several artists’ work has been included in international group exhibitions, as well as in commercial and nonprofit venues across the nation. Most recently, nine Creativity Explored artists were exhibited in UC Berkeley Art Museum’s traveling group exhibition, Create, which was selected as one of San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic Kenneth Baker’s top ten exhibits in 2011.
The Annual Holiday Art Sale at Creativity Explored—known as an art lover’s shopping extravaganza—is on now, until December 23rd. This year they're taking thirty percent off all original artwork to celebrate their 30th anniversary in January. You'll be able to fill your home with a selection of prints, paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, and textiles from their 130-plus studio artists.