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Fashion ShowCreative Growth Art Center

April 3, 2019

One of five new films kicking off Art21’s 2019 programming season

From their studio space in Oakland, California, the artists of Creative Growth Art Center prepare for the nonprofit organization’s annual fashion show, Beyond Trend. What began as a spontaneous one-off event, Beyond Trend is now an annual tradition that features fashions created and modeled by artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities.

Shown at work on their wearable art in the weeks prior to showtime, the Creative Growth artists describe inspiration rooted in both personal experiences and pop culture references. “I used to wear Frankenstein masks when I was seven,” recalls artist William Scott while creating a papier-mâché Frankenstein mask, reminiscing about memories of watching The Munsters on television and going treat-or-treating.

Through the fashion show format, Creative Growth artists are given the opportunity to add an element of performance to their otherwise primarily visual practice. “It really adds this other dimension,” reflects Tom di Maria, Creative Growth’s director of external relations. “It becomes this great celebration of artistic creation.” As artists and models set to take the stage, di Maria muses, “You’ll see it in their performance, how proud they are of their work.”

More information and credits


Producer: Ian Forster, Nick Ravich, & Christine Turner. Interview: Mario Furloni. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: Mario Furloni, Guillermo Guzman, & Tyler McPhrerron. Sound: Kevin Crawford & Doug Dunderdale. Artwork Courtesy: Creative Growth Art Center, Daniel Gardiner, William Scott, & Christine Szeto. Special Thanks: Tom di Maria.

Extended Play is presented by Alta Art. Additional support provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Art21 Contemporary Council; and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Creative Growth Art Center

Creative Growth Art Center was founded by Elias and Florence Katz in 1974. Operating in a former car-body shop near downtown Oakland, California, Creative Growth provides studios, gallery space, and supplies to more than 150 artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities, who work in a wide array of media. Predicated on the belief that art is fundamental to human expression and that all people are entitled to its tools of communication, Creative Growth is an incubator of artistic activity that has fostered exemplary artists, such as Dan Miller, Judith Scott, William Scott, and Monica Valentine.

William Scott

A self-taught artist, William Scott’s paintings often render San Francisco as “Praise Frisco”, an imagined utopia that realizes his idealization of a wholesome place of community. Scott’s recurring fantastical narratives and characters address realities of race, class, identity, citizenship, spirituality, and tolerance. Born and raised in San Francisco, Scott has observed the marginalized spaces in the city, including his own neighborhood, change over the years. Through meticulous detailing of a futuristic urban utopia in his drawings and paintings, Scott communicates his desire for an optimistic future.

“When they get to express themselves physically and wear their art, they become performance artists. It becomes this great celebration of artistic creation.”

Tom di Maria, Director of External Relations, Creative Growth Art Center

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