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Creative Growth

Gavin Brown's Enterprise
620 Greenwich Street, 212-627-5258
Greenwich Village
June 28 - July 28, 2007
Reception: Thursday, June 28, 6 - 8 PM

Carl Hendrickson, Dwight Mackintosh, Dan Miller, Donald Mitchell, Aurie Ramirez, Judith Scott, William Scott, Gerone Spruill, and William Tyler

Gavin Brown’s enterprise is proud to present “Creative Growth,” an exhibition of nine artists associated with Oakland’s celebrated Creative Growth Art Center. Founded in 1974 Creative Growth consists of a studio art program and – since 1980 – a gallery that serves and supports mentally, physically, and developmentally disabled adult artists. Creative Growth’s mission is to provide an environment that fosters and nurtures the creative process, and is dedicated to the idea that people with disabilities “can gain strength and fulfillment through the visual arts.” Writing in Frieze magazine in September 2006 James Trainor said: “Creative Growth isn’t a hospital, a clinic … or even a school in the strictest sense. No formal instruction is given, and there are no theoretical programs about how to educate the autistic or schizophrenic. What it is is an experiment, now entering its fourth decade, rooted in distinctly northern California ideas about grassroots involvement, collective creativity and social change, about giving disenfranchised people the tools, space and support to express themselves.” More than 100 artists – all of whom live in the immediate Bay Area – work at Creative Growth’s studios which are housed in a former car body shop near Oakland’s Auto Row that Trainor described as: “a beehive of focused energy and activity … [that is] a lot like art school, except without the self-doubt, posing, competition, and careerism.” Matthew Higgs, the Director of White Columns, has collaborated extensively with Creative Growth over the past five years, raising both visibility and support for the Center, and introducing the work of artists Dan Miller, Aurie Ramirez, Judith Scott (1943 – 2005), William Scott, and Gerone Spruill to new audiences via exhibitions and projects at venues such as White Columns, New York; Gladstone Gallery, New York; and Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles, among others. The present exhibition includes the work of this group alongside that of Carl Hendrickson, Donald Mitchell, Dwight Mackintosh (1906 – 1999), and William Tyler. Rooted in a – sometimes expanded – notion of `drawing,’ the work of these nine artists articulates something of the extraordinary range and complexity of art produced at Creative Growth.

The work of Creative Growth and its artists has recently been profiled in publications such as Frieze, The New York Times, ANP Quarterly, Dwell, and Art Papers, amongst others. To find out more about Creative Growth, their artists and programs visit: To discover more about White Columns visit:

All proceeds from the sale of work in the exhibition will directly benefit the artists and Creative Growth.

Organized by White Columns, New York in collaboration with Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA.
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