‘Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth’ debuting at Carson City gallery | NevadaAppeal.com

‘Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth’ debuting at Carson City gallery

Nevada Appeal staff report

Seventeen artists from Creative Growth Art Center, an Oakland, California nonprofit that serves artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, are showing their work in Carson City's CCAI Courthouse Gallery.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is presenting its group show, "Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth," at the gallery, 885 E. Musser St.

An opening reception is planned from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday. The exhibition will be in the gallery through Sept. 27. The reception and the exhibition are free, and the gallery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Creative Growth Art Center's large multi-room studio serves more than 140 client artists weekly with instruction by professional artists in fiber arts, sculpture, painting, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, photography, and video animation.

The center's gallery presents eight group shows annually making the prolific artists' work available to the public year-round. It also contracts with Target stores for product design.

The Carson City exhibition will include mixed media and 3-D art by Jo Beal, Susan Glikbarg, Cedric Johnson, John Martin, Paulino Martin, Donald Mitchell, Julie Swartout, Christine Szeto, and Ed Walters.

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Mixed media and 2-D works include pieces by Marion Bolton, Kerry Daminanakes, Joseph Fagnani, Franna Lusson, Miguel Palacios, Tony Pedemonte, Ruth Stafford, and Merritt Wallace.

Daminanakes' uses pastel on paper to create her energetic, expressionistic, and compelling drawings of food with accompanying text/recipes. Her work has been shown widely in the Bay Area and in Korea. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Wynn Newhouse Award, a grant awarded by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation to artists of excellence that happen to have disabilities.

Wallace shares his vision of busy and crowded city life with his imaginative urban maps including numbers, arrows, coffee monsters, and more. Merritt's drawings served as inspiration for fashion designer Erica Tanov's 2013 Spring/Summer collection of clothing and home goods. His art has been exhibited internationally in New York, Berlin, Paris, and Korea.

Pedemonte works with wooden armatures or repurposed items like bicycle wheels, wrapping with one spool of thread after another until the structural frame is nearly concealed. Distinguished by their smooth texture, a monochromatic palette, and geometrically-driven configurations, Pedemonte's sculptures exude a presence that's both tactile and enigmatic. His work has been shown in San Francisco, New York, Miami, and Paris.

Essay writers Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz are co-founders of Disparate Minds, an interdisciplinary project dedicated to increasing visibility and discussing the work of marginalized self-taught artists. They are co-authors of the multiple essays discussing work by people with disabilities published at their site, disparateminds.org.

The exhibition is supported by lead donations from Carson Miller and Nancy Raven.

The Capital City Arts Initiative encourages and supports artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. It's committed to community building for the area's diverse adult and youth populations through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

For information about CCAI, go to http://www.arts-initiative.org. For information about Creative Growth Art Center, go to http://www.creativegrowth.org/.