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Creative Growth Art Center promotes artistic expression, an often-overlooked form of communication for people with disabilities.

Disabilities September 22nd, 2020

Expressive and professional artistic opportunities for adults with disabilities provide a lasting impact on their conception of self-worth, decision-making abilities, dignity, and sense of belonging in the community.

Monica Valentine has attended Creative Growth Art Center (CGAC) in Oakland since 2012. Her primary art practice takes the form of optically charged sculptures composed of foam shapes that are densely covered with beads and sequins. Monica is blind and wears prosthetic eyes, having lost her sight in early childhood. Working with great dexterity, Monica threads sequins and seed beads onto thin pins, then uses her hands to feel along the foam in order to find their placement. Color dominates and informs much of Monica's life, and her ability to feel the color of an object by its temperature (a form of synesthesia) is just one way that she uses color to orient and empower herself in her environment and her artistic work. CGAC is a model organization that has fostered the development of over 20 similar centers for artists with disabilities in the U.S. alone.

View Monica's illuminating artwork featured on CGAC’s website: