Sunday, July 31, 2016

John Hiltunen | Collage

John Hiltunen
Oakland, USA: Creative Growth, 2016
6.5 x 9 cm.
Edition size unknown

The Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland California serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. The Center provides a professional studio and gallery, as well as a social atmosphere where artists can work among their peers. Founded in the early 1970s by Dr Elias Katz and his wife, artist Florence Ludins-Katz, it is the oldest and largest art center in the world for people with developmental disabilities.

We're not art therapists or a provider of social services," says Tom di Maria, who has served as the director of the Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. "We just say: Come here, find your way, find your voice and tell us your story. Take as much time as you need. There are now over 150 artists per week working with us."

Matthew Higgs calls the Center "without reservation the most important cultural organization I have ever encountered.”

Born in Sturgis, Kentucky in 1949, artist John Hiltunen has attended Creative Growth since 2003. He initially made rugs, wood work and ceramics, but began producing collages in 2006. After participating in Paul Butler’s Collage Party in 2007, his collage work became a "consistent artistic pursuit." Using mostly fashion and natural history magazines, Hiltunen creates images of absurdly well-dressed animals.

In 2012, John’s work was the focus of a major group exhibition curated by Higgs at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco. He has also exhibited at White Columns, Rachel Uffner Gallery, the San Francisco International Airport, and had his work represented at contemporary art fairs like NADA Miami, the Independent, and Frieze New York. In 2013, he was honored as a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award.

In addition to stand-alone collages, Hiltunen produces collaged books as part of his practice. In September Books for All Press will release a 96-page title by the artist.

These poker size playing cards feature 53 images of original collage works by Hiltunen, housed in a plexi card case. They are available here for $15.00 US.

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