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Published on April 01, 2024
SFMOMA Partners with East Bay Art Center to Showcase Diverse Talent of Artists with DisabilitiesSource: Google Street View

In a landmark move for inclusivity in the arts, the acclaimed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) teamed up with East Bay's Creative Growth Art Center, bringing light to the talents of artists with disabilities. With over 100 fresh additions to its permanent showcase, SFMOMA now houses one of the biggest collections of artwork created by individuals with developmental disabilities, noted NBC Bay Area.

Brush to canvas under the vastness of Oakland's skies, artist William Scott, a longtime Creative Growth member since 1992, opens up about his art's deeper message. "That's for the peacemaker. That's for fixing the world. That's for the peace on earth," he told NBC Bay Area, pointing towards his vibrant mural. Alongside this acquisition, SFMOMA is preparing to open 'Creative Growth: The House That Art Built' from April 6 to October 6, celebrating the program's work and prolific artists, as stated in an announcement from the museum.

Tailored events are in store, including the fifth annual Creating Community symposium on May 23 and Creative Growth's 50th Anniversary Gala with the Beyond Trend Fashion Show in September. Original designs by the center’s artists are set to hit the runway, while attendees gain an inside look into the work of visionaries that revolutionized art's accessibility, said SFMOMA's Director Christopher Bedford.

The importance of such a partnership, Tom di Maria of Creative Growth explained, lies in its potential to elevate artists with disabilities, placing them alongside renowned contemporary peers. "It really elevates and brings the voices of artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world in a way that's respectful of their practice, of who they are as people, and puts them as colleagues to some of the most noted contemporary artists of our day," di Maria expounded to NBC Bay Area. Artworks by Alice Wong, Ron Veasey, and Camille Holvoet, among others, represent the vibrant practices being embraced by SFMOMA.

Breaking down barriers, SFMOMA's curator Nancy Lim recognizes the importance of featuring such a diverse range of artists. "For so long, museums and especially large institutions, such as SFMOMA, have been very restrictive about who gets shown on museum walls," Lim told NBC Bay Area. But William Scott is unfazed by the pressure, expressing sheer joy at the prospect of his artwork catching eyes at a prestigious venue: "If people see the work, I will be so happy," Scott said, injecting undeniable optimism into the future of art in the Bay Area and beyond.