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June 25 - September 3, 2020

Creativity Explored

San Francisco, CA and Online

Untitled by Douglas Sheran, 2005 © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC, mixed media on paper, 16 x 16 inches

And as you learn the magic, learn to believe it
Don’t be ‘surprised’ when it works, you undercut
your power.
– Diane di Prima, Revolutionary Letter #46

How great a surprise can you tolerate?
How small a surprise can you recognize?

The work of Creativity Explored artists is full of surprises, large and small.

Join us as we fall down the rabbit hole and explore a rich selection of artworks from over 20 past and present CE artists with disabilities in a group exhibition curated by artist and Visual Arts Instructor Ajit Chauhan.

Including a guest appearance by Bay Area painter Alicia McCarthy.

The park "a darling walk for the mind" is dedicated to long-time CE artist José Campos, who passed away in May 2020. 

The exhibition will be on view virtually with artworks available for purchase on the Creativity Explored Artsy page beginning June 25.

Through September 3, any supporters who purchase any artwork from Creativity Explored or make a donation of $5 or more, will be mailed a limited edition booklet commemorating the exhibition. While supplies last!

Featured Artists

Mary Belknap, José Campos, Anne Connolly, Linda Davenport*, Samedi Djeimguero*, Walter Kresnik, Claus Groeger, Jay Herndon*, Makeya Kaiser, Melody Lima*, John Patrick McKenzie, James Miles, Paul Moshammer, James Nielsen, Yolanda Ramirez*, Evelyn Reyes, Lance Rivers, Douglas Sheran, Hung Kei ShiuAna Maria Vidalon

*Online exclusive

About the Exhibition

Curator Ajit Chauhan describes the exhibition as “a collection of shared intimacies.” In the spirit of intimacy, the exhibition is physically installed in the gallery space at Creativity Explored – it's tradition – despite facilities being closed. The act of installation is an act of intimacy and understanding, and that is something our community needs now more than ever. Though the public will have limited access**, the storefront window on 16th Street offers an installation of selected artworks for passersby.

The exhibition was conceived of as a mixtape made for a friend. Careful selection of contrasting works intend to take the viewer on a kind of journey with peaks and releases, not a single emotional note. Punctuating the wall space, Bay Area artist Alicia McCarthy offers a light sprinkling of marks and gestures that informs all of the work.

The artworks in the exhibition are ethereal and meditative; the selection explores various phases in past and present artists’ careers with some works dating back 20 years. Chauhan’s careful curatorial process was “mostly intuitive.” Diving into the Creativity Explored archives and exploring work by former artists, Chauhan had a unique opportunity to make the archival novel again – plus, our once bustling studio, a sacred space in and of itself, was empty.

The meditative curatorial process informs how we might experience the art. He continues, “Choosing a compelling work of art feels like it’s speaking to you in some really personal way… It’s not just something on the wall. It’s also looking back at you, and there is a really powerful experience that feels completely external and internal at the same time.”

Each artwork in the exhibition beckons the viewer to slide deeper into the artists’ minds and individual practice. A Walter Kresnik drawing with a black and white cat in a field acts as a prompt to the show, much like the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s classic. Bold shapes and carrots by Evelyn Reyes remind one of the suits from playing cards. Reyes would create her iconic designs with intricate rituals – taking the artwork to all four compass points in the studio before declaring a piece finished.

A work by Hung Kei Shiu feels like “painting the roses red” scene from Alice in Wonderland with hatched lines and circles of red and green that build a field of color into a garden. An illustrated book created by Douglas Sheran acts as an abstract travel journal. Claus Groeger's enveloping abstractions fold in on themselves creating textured layers, and fibrous drawings by Mary Belknap are a literal walk for the mind and heart.

The curation establishes a dialogue between the artworks. A piece by Evelyn Reyes, Fence with Bell, placed next to James Miles’ Circus is a pairing that transforms Reyes’ fence into a circus tent under which Miles’ performers perform. Ana Maria Vidalon mirrors José Campos’ dissolving surfaces that seem to disintegrate before our eyes like cotton candy - colorful and playful, but also metaphysical. 

The exhibition invites everyone to center the practice of artists with disabilities by giving space for contemplation and reflection. We hope you let the artwork and artists hold your metaphorical hand as we take a walk together, looking at one another in recognition.

Virtual Curator Talk and Exhibition Tour with Ajit Chauhan
Creativity Explored's YouTube page and Instagram (IGTV)


About the Curator

Ajit Chauhan lives in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. He reads a lot, listens to music, plays with cats, and practices tai chi. He is part of a small collective of poets and painters "SF's #1 Gallery! 'Right Window'" as forever member Kevin Killian would say. You can view Ajit's website here.






The park "a darling walk for the mind" by Lorine Niedecker, 1965.
From Lorine Niedecker Collected Works by Lorine Niedecker and Jenny Lynn Penberthy. Berkeley. University of California Press © 2002.

Revolutionary Letter #46
From Revolutionary Letters by Diane di Prima. San Francisco. Last Gasp of San Francisco © 1971.



Featured Events

IMAGINATE@home - Artist-led Workshops for Everyone
August 1-15, 2020
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

We are bringing our inclusive art-making program to you with a series of free artist-led workshops for everyone. Join us on ZOOM for art-making sessions celebrating the work of Creativity Explored ...

Lawrence Rinder & Ajit Chauhan - Curators in Conversation
August 6, 2020
starting at 1:00 PM

Take a lovely stroll with us through the new exhibition by Creativity Explored with show curator and teaching artist Ajit Chauhan and CE collector and curator Lawrence Rinder. The duo will dive into ...