CE Overview

Fact Sheet
Posted on April 28, 2017

About Creativity Explored 

Creativity Explored
(Gallery and Main Studio)
3245 Sixteenth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 

Gallery hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm;
Thursday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm; Saturday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Creativity Explored is a dynamic nonprofit art center and gallery where artists with developmental disabilities have been creating, exhibiting, and selling their art for 35 years. Located in the vibrant cultural and dining corridor that transverses San Francisco’s Mission District, Creativity Explored provides a supportive studio environment, including individualized instruction from mentoring artists, quality supplies, and professional opportunities to exhibit and sell their art. Artists with developmental disabilities working at Creativity Explored transform their lives and make contributions to the contemporary art world that are generating growing acclaim.

The impetus for the founding of Creativity Explored was the passing of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act in 1969 in California, an act which defines the rights of persons with developmental disabilities and establishes a service system to meet the needs of individuals, and when appropriate, their families, throughout the state.

Believing that all people have the ability to create and that visual artistic expression is a viable means of achieving personal growth, Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz founded Creativity Explored in 1983.

Structure and Funding
Creativity Explored is a nonprofit entity incorporated by the State of California, governed by a 9- to 19-member volunteer Board of Directors. The Board of Directors employs an Executive Director who is responsible for carrying out the policies of the Board of Directors, administering agency programs, and managing agency personnel.

70% of our income is realized from fees paid by Golden Gate Regional Center to purchase our services. 10% of our income is generated from the sale of original art and art products (t-shirts, notecards, books, DVDs, etc.). Grants for specific program initiatives and general operating expenses from private and public foundations, individual and business contributions, and fundraising events make up the remaining 20%.

Studios and Gallery
In addition to Creativity Explored’s main gallery and studio on Sixteenth Street in the Mission, we have a second studio in nearby Potrero Hill. We also actively seek opportunities for CE artists to work in other professional art studios in the community. Gallery programming includes five exhibitions per year, with more than 15,000 people visiting the gallery and studios annually.

Artists and Staff
All of the approximately 130 studio artists at Creativity Explored have a developmental disability. Many artists experience additional disabilities such as mental illness, emotional disturbances, and/or physical disabilities. The youngest artist working in our studios just turned 20, and the oldest is 82; several artists have been working here for more than twenty years. Artists joining our studio come from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, speaking Cantonese, English, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, and Thai. Artists bring with them a wide range of ability and experience, as the only qualification for joining our studio is an interest in art. Some studio artists create art on a part-time basis, while some work in the studio full-time. On most days, about 60 people make art in our Sixteenth Street studio, and about 20 people work in our Potrero Hill studio.

Creativity Explored studio artists develop meaningful arts practices and are earning increasing recognition for their contributions to the contemporary art world. In addition to participating in numerous group exhibitions in the Bay Area, Creativity Explored artists have had one-person gallery shows in New Zealand and Australia. Several artists’ work has been included in international group exhibitions, as well as in commercial and nonprofit venues across the nation. Nine Creativity Explored exhibited work in UC Berkeley Art Museum’s traveling group exhibition, Create, which was selected as one of San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic Kenneth Baker’s top ten exhibits in 2011.

Creativity Explored employs 20+ professional artists to facilitate the art-making process in our two studios. Seven people work in the gallery and provide administrative and program support. City College of San Francisco provides a part-time professional artist/instructor to help us meet our goals, and volunteers and interns contribute in numerous ways to our successful program implementation.

Art Licensing
The innovative programming and radically accepting culture at Creativity Explored have been recognized as a model worldwide in the field of art and disability. In addition to the studios, exhibitions and gallery sales, we have developed a licensing division. Creativity Explored artists’ work has been used successfully in a wide variety of products including corporate calendars, greeting cards, CD covers, high-resolution framed prints, book and magazine covers and illustrations, textiles, t-shirts, tote bags, pillows, rugs, skateboards, and limited edition chocolates. Creativity Explored patrons also license our works for personal celebrations such as birthdays and weddings. A selection of our licensees include affordable modern furnishing company CB2, Recchiuti Confections, Sage Publishing, Nimble shoes, and fashion house COMMES de GARÇONS.

Art Services
Creativity Explored's Art Services program includes art commissions, rental services, consulting, and purchase services. Clients include Adobe System Incorporated; the upscale apartment community Avalon Bay Communities; affordable housing communities Bayview Hill Gardens, Mercy Housing, and BRIDGE Housing; Benetech; the Chinatown Community Development Corporation; David Baker + Partners; the Ed Roberts Campus; the Golden Gate Regional Center; San Francisco’s luxurious Hotel G; Lizanne Sutter Art Advisory Services; Owen Kennerly Architects; and UCSF.

For more information: 415-863-2108; www.creativityexplored.org


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