Director’s Note: What 40 means to me…

I’ll use any excuse for cake and ice cream…and a 40th anniversary is certainly a good one.  And we have much to celebrate.

As Creative Growth moves into the final exhibitions of its yearlong anniversary series, we present an extraordinary partnership between five leading contemporary artists and scores of Creative Growth artists.

The collaborative prints produced for this exhibition are described by guest curator, Matthew Higgs as “unique, highly idiosyncratic art works, where no two artists’ responses to a given image were the same…what has emerged is a complex ‘portrait’ of the Creative Growth community.” This exhibition highlights an important aspect of Creative Growth’s work: our ongoing dialog with the contemporary art world and its artists.

Even as we prepare for this exhibition and celebration, we have just learned that Judith Scott has become the third Creative Growth artist to have her work acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  We believe she is the only artist with Downs Syndrome to achieve this honor, and she joins her Creative Growth colleagues Dan Miller and William Scott who are already represented in this important collection.

This is certainly a stunning achievement for these three artists with disabilities, and it would not have been within the realm of possibility even a decade ago.  This speaks to the changing landscape of contemporary art, and Creative Growth’s role within it.

The talent of these individual artists is the main reason that their work has been recognized in this way. I’d also like to believe that Creative Growth has supported their achievement by affording them a place to work, a supportive group of staff and colleagues, the materials needed to work as artists, and contemporary venues in which to exhibit their work.

People with developmental disabilities have a culture and a voice that is strong, fresh and aesthetically compelling. If you’ve been to Creative Growth lately, I think you’ll understand what I mean. If not, you’re due for a visit. I hope to see you for our exhibition preview and fundraiser on Wednesday, July 9, where you can see for yourself the many reasons why Creative Growth artists’ have claimed their place alongside the art world’s major talents.

Thank you and best wishes,
Tom di Maria