In Latin, tabula rasa refers to the absence of preconceived ideas; a clean slate. It is also the title of a new exhibit at Creativity Explored, the Mission-based gallery and studio for artists with disabilities. The exhibit, which runs from March 3rd to April 13th, seeks to challenge the notion of a “finished” work by merging the studio and gallery into a kind of tabula rasa for its community of artists.
“It was my own tabula rasa, too, because I didn’t know exactly what would come out of this project,” said Paul Moshammer, exhibit curator and studio manager at Creativity Explored. “I didn’t know how rich and fantastic it would turn out to be. The artists displayed a focus and motivation that I haven’t seen before.”
Artist Joseph “J.D.” Green at work.
During the course of the exhibit, the gallery has transformed into an active art-making space, bucking the notion of gallery as pristine space and highlighting instead the organic aspect of a work in progress. Moshammer said even at the reception for the exhibit, taking place tonight (Thursday, March 31st from 7-9pm), “The gallery won’t look pristine. There will be tarps and cardboard. If you visited an art studio, it will give you the same impression,” he said.
The exhibit features over 30 pieces from more than 25 different artists, with a focus on large works. Participating artists include: Joseph “J.D.” Green, Vincent Jackson, Gerald Wiggins, Ricardo Estella, Andrew Bixler, Taneya Lovelace, José Nuñez, Marcus McClure, and Hector Lopez.
For the past five weeks, the neighborhood has had the opportunity to witness the evolution of the exhibit, as artists worked in the front windows of the gallery on 16th between Guerrero and Dolores. “It linked in the community, and highlights what we do in a big way, with big artwork,” Moshammer said. “The results were stunning.”
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