GIFTED, the self-taught…exhibition and Opening Party at Nina Johnson Gallery

Sat May 18, 2019 - Sat Jul 20, 2019

Gifted, the self-taught genius of Creative Growth, a group show of new work by the artists of Creative Growth, the oldest and largest nonprofit art studio for artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. The show of 41 artists will be curated by Kim Hastreiter, the founder of Paper magazine and collector of Creative Growth artists for the past twenty-five years.

This joyful and vibrant exhibition will span all three gallery spaces at Nina Johnson and showcase Hastreiter’s favorite working artists at Creative Growth, reflecting the wide range of artists marginalized by disability. Gifted forms a powerful argument against the ghettoization and othering of these so-called “outsider artists,” who are so often treated as novelty footnotes in the greater cultural dialogue. The artists from Creative Growth remind us that creativity is a universal, human impulse—not one dictated by ability or education.

“The word ‘disability’ is often defined as ‘working with less’, but when I see the art produced at Creative Growth, it occurs to me, that it is actually filled with more: more freedom, more imagination, and most of all, more truth. Their disabilities may have forced them to live in a world outside of and very different from ours—by definition the world of the artist,”

Curator Kim Hastreiter

Across a variety of media, these artists are uniquely able to tap into a purity of expression that isn’t affected by an art market or exhibitions. In some cases, particularly where the artist is non-verbal, these creative outlets are the only way these artists are able to express themselves.

The exuberant spirit of Gifted is reflected in the opening party for the exhibition: a summer block party replete with BBQ and a DJ on May 18th, 4-8PM.

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Opening Reception/BBQ Party
May 18, 2019, 4 PM

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