Creativity Explored, the premier nonprofit visual art gallery and studio for artists with developmental disabilities, presents Natural History, a group exhibition that transforms the gallery into a miniature museum complete with bone sculptures and diorama. In this multi-media exhibition, Creativity Explored artists explore astronomy, geology, prehistoric science, and flora and fauna using a range of art practices including painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation.
Curators and Visual Arts Instructors Andrew Gilson and Glenn Peckman mirror the environment of a natural history museum by dedicating different areas of the gallery to various fields of study. Insect paintings on wood are displayed pinned to the wall while pedestals showcase sculptures of taxidermy animals and fossils. A gallery alcove will transform into an aquarium complete with colorful acrylic and wood cutouts. From the street, passers will see the large windows evolve into a mock- diorama and bone sculpture excavation site. To complete the museum experience, there will be a gift shop featuring small artworks like Doris Yen’s ink and watercolor on paper dinosaur studies.
Artists from both studios collaborated with Artist-in-Residence, Mary Button Durrell to create a series of popular bone sculptures. Working primarily with tracing paper and wheat paste, Durrell creates organic shapes and forms that explore the nuances of light and paper. Using Durrell’s technique, artists collaborated to make mandibles, femurs, and skull sculptures, reinforcing the idea that Natural History is an experiential and research-focused exhibition.
Other featured artworks include artworks inspired by Audubon prints by Emma Reyes and Jason Monzon, Sara O’Sullivan’s series of pencil and ink drawings under distorted glass, resembling objects seen through a microscope (8.5 x 6.5 inches each). Peter DeLira’s Fish School is a vibrant array of acrylic on wood fish in all shapes and sizes. Taking a sculptural approach, Makeya Kaiser’s Snake Nest is a colorful mixed-media interpretation while Ann Yamasaki brings a hummingbird to life in her multi-media sculpture, Hummingbird, 16 inches high. In clay, Joseph “JD” Green and Gerald Wiggins create a series fossilized dinosaur bones while Miyuki Tsurukawa sculpts dinosaur eggs showing the dinosaur inside.
Drawing on inspiration from their love of classic natural history museums — specifically, the old Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA (pre-renovation) and the Museum of Natural History in New York, NY, curators Gilson and Peckman create a broad overview of different areas of a museum: fossils, dioramas, taxonomy, astronomy, and more.