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Seeing Memory 

Wednesday, Mar 14 2007
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This show is the latest offering from Creativity Explored, a nonprofit art school and gallery in the Mission devoted to fostering the creative work of developmentally disabled adults. A consistent winner of Best Gallery in the Best of S.F. polls, it shows fresh, original work — well conceived and well executed — at affordable prices. And it draws an art smart clientele. Lawrence Rinder, former Whitney Museum (New York) curator and now dean of the California College of the Arts, is a loyal fan, and curated this show. He visited the school to seed ideas for the artists several months ago, and recently returned to select the current crop of works on display. The artists responded to the subject of "memory" in a variety of ways. Camille Holvoet and Henry Bruns revisit stays at state mental hospitals. Gordon Shepard's That's a Good Question is a straightforward and compelling recital of his life, told in skillful cartoon panels. Douglas Sheran offers a dreamlike quartet of wash drawings that feature two figures, apart and together. Text and numbers figure prominently in many works. Colorful marker-on-wood panels by Daniel Green chart pro wrestling matches and important dates in his life. John Patrick McKenzie's inimitable signature calligraphy covers the hood of a 1967 VW Beetle with names of '60s TV shows, and Michael Bernard Loggins recounts a phone call with his girl friend. Jeanette Rideau memorializes her lost pets in a circular "star chart" which seems to place them in the heavens. Anthony Li's Muni buses and James Montgomery's Memories of Betty are also memorable. The sure hand of the artist is evident in all the pieces on display. There is no glibness in these works — just pure unallayed artistic expression, with a healthy dose of irreverent humor. —L.F.

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Lea Feinstein

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