(KRON) – Just in time for the holiday shopping season, a special group of artists is gearing up to show off their work for sale to people looking for gifts and looking to support a good cause at the same time.
They are the artists from Creativity Explored. Their year-round efforts are aimed at inspiring members of the collective to go well beyond what many may think they are capable of.
Creativity Explored is a free, state-funded day program for developmentally disabled adults who successfully use art, not only as therapy but also as inspiration.
“The goal is to provide a community for a group of creative disabled adults so they can come together and realize their goals,” said Executive Director Linda Johnson. “To be the artists part of a caring community and to thrive here.”
“These students are a huge range of different artists. Some are beginners, just been with us a little while,” said Program Manager Eric Larson. “Quite a few who have a real interest in art.”
There is a wide range of skills among the artists, and a wide variety of art options: ceramics, painting, drawing, foam prints, and much more. This beautiful work with all of its colors and detail could easily be shown at any museum or gallery, and it is for sale.
Fifty percent of all the art sales go to the artist who created it and Creativity Explored. It has a gift shop right outside the studio where the students are busy at work.”
Creativity Explored member Vincent Jackson’s work sells locally. He also just recently returned from a solo exhibit in Texas. And yes, the artists take a lot of pride in their creations.
‘They work hard their own way, create the plate, we take back and we print. We bring them back and they sign them,” Teacher Victor Cartegena said.
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The disabilities vary from mild to some, like Julian, who has classic autism. His grandmother says creativity Explored Changed his life.
“Number one is making friends with peers with teachers. He loves that,” she said.
Next year, Creativity Explored will celebrate 40 years in San Francisco’s Mission District. And for some, that’s even more reason for pride in the work done here.