Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz, two pioneers of the US art and disabilities movement, founded Creativity Explored in San Francisco in 1983. They developed this art-making studio and two other Bay Area organisations, Creative Growth and the National Institute of Art & Disabilities (NIAD Art Center), based on the principle that everyone has the ability to create, and that visual artistic expression is an important means of self-growth.
Today, more than 130 artists with developmental disabilities take part in the studio’s programmes. Ranging from 20-year-olds to senior citizens, many have previously lived in isolation or been institutionalised, while others have spent all their lives with their families. Among them, a variety of languages are spoken – though some do not speak or are unable to use language.
Creativity Explored furnishes the studio artists with the workspace and materials, as well as a team of 23 professional artists who support them in two studio locations, assisting their explorations of the creative processes of printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and fabric art. Camille Holvoet (b. 1952) repeats certain themes – food, fairground rides and crossed eyes – drawing on her own anxieties and desires. John Patrick McKenzie practises complex and mysterious repetitive sequencing, with swirling, multi-angled and disorienting textual works that comment on media attention and celebrity. Andrew Li (b. 1965) reads the urban environment via his cityscapes, machines and people; whether they are painted or drawn, or constructed in 3D, he portrays them in motion...
Caption: Creativity Explored Studio, photo Rita Harowitz, 2012, © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC