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Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth
Exhibition at CCAI Courthouse Gallery

Reception: Friday, June 1, 5 – 7pm
Exhibition: June 1 – September 27, 2018

at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery
885 E Musser Street, Carson City, Nevada


The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] presents its group show, Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth, at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery. CCAI will host an opening reception on Friday, June 1, 5-7pm. The exhibition with art by 17 artists will be in the gallery from June 1 – September 27, 2018.

The Courthouse is located at 885 E Musser Street, Carson City. The reception and the exhibition are free and the public is cordially invited. The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, describes itself as “the oldest and largest nonprofit art center for adults with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. Since 1974, Creative Growth has played a significant role in increasing public interest in the artistic capabilities and achievements of people with disabilities, providing a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery exhibitions and representation, and a social atmosphere among peers.” Learn more about CGAC at www.creativegrowth.org/

CGAC’s large multi-room studio serves over 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. CGAC continues to contract with Target stores for product design.

Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth includes 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. 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. Three of these artists’ bios follow.

Kerry 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.

Merritt Wallace’s 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.

Tony 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 is 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. Through their research, writing, lectures, and curatorial projects, Donahue and Ortiz share their insights informed by extensive experience in this field as practicing artists, artist facilitators, and dedicated disability rights advocates.

Donahue was awarded a Fellowship in Visual Art from the Nevada Arts Council in 2018. She shows her art nationally and lives in Las Vegas. Ortiz works as a home/community-based personal care provider for adults with developmental disabilities; he exhibits his art nationally and lives in Grinnell, Iowa.

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

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is 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.

CCAI is funded in part by the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Nevada Arts Council, Carson City Cultural Commission, NV Energy Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, Nevada Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities, and John and Grace Nauman Foundation.

top image: Kerry Damianakes, “Cream of Tomato Soup for Lunch”, pastel on paper, 15″x22″, 2012
bottom image: exhibition flier