Friday, March 02, 2012

Supporting Artists With Disabilities

Untitled artwork piece by Marcus McClureFor the past ten years, Benetech’s Bookshare library has provided accessible books for people with print disabilities. Bookshare helps people who cannot read standard text participate in the world of ideas. This recent holiday season, Benetech began supporting an innovative organization that helps people with disabilities develop their creative abilities and become working artists.

Artwork entitled Fiction and Fact (detail 1) by Andrew Bixler. Initial text in piece reads, this is reginald he likes to howl at dusk...During our holiday party, we displayed thirty pieces of art provided by Creativity Explored, a San Francisco-based nonprofit arts organization. Creativity Explored works with more than 120 artists with developmental disabilities, providing services that help these artists create, exhibit, and sell their art.

Untitled piece of artwork by Anne Slater, featuring flowersBenetech worked with Creativity Explored to select a variety of paintings, drawings and prints. After admiring this collection of art at our holiday party, our staff cast votes for their favorite works. Benetech has now acquired quite a number of pieces of lively, playful, evocative art that will be displayed in our offices. During our party, we also held a raffle to give away a single piece of art chosen by the winner. The drawing was won by our business development manager, Aaron Firestone, who selected a splendid print entitled “Sonata VI” by artist Ana Maria Vidalon, which is now prominently displayed in his home. Benetech’s Vice President and general manager of our literacy program, Betsy Beaumon, also purchased several works from Creativity Explored after our holiday gathering. You can too!

Piece of artwork entitled Monster by Hector LopezCreativity Explored provides supportive studios for artists who receive individualized instruction from mentors, quality art materials, and professional opportunities to exhibit their work. The organization works with people in their 20s, to elder artists in their 80s. These artists come from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and have a wide range of ability and experience. Creativity Explored operates a studio on 16th Street in San Francisco which includes about 60 artists, and another studio on Arkansas Street where another 20 people work.

Piece of artwork entitled Dogs by Quintin Rodriguez, with four different dog head studiesYou can visit the Creativity Explored studios and gallery to purchase art or attend their excellent solo show by Salvadorian painter Pablo Calderon which runs until February 29th. Their next show, Parallel Visions, opens on March 8. In the meantime, check out Anne Slater’s abstract, Quintin Rodriguez’s dog portraits, Andrew Bixler’s cartoon panels, Hector Lopez’s monster, and Marcus McClure’s circle painting.

Artwork entitled Fiction and Fact (detail 2) by  by Andrew Bixler.  Text in the piece reads, here we have an orphan boy named jeff with his uncleWe encourage you to help support Creativity Explored and their artists who are making an important contribution to contemporary art. This work supports the diversity of artistic expression and helps talented people sell directly to collectors. Our office will be a more colorful and comfortable space with the addition of this art and yours could too.

1 comment:

Samuel Sennott said...

Creativity explored looks like it is helping empower so many individuals share their gifts. Thank you for sharing about this terrific initiative.