Pepper Stetler will write “Bringing the Outside In: The Creative Growth Art Center,” the first in-depth history of the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, a nonprofit organization founded by Florence and Elias Katz in 1974 that continues to provide open studio space, gallery representation, and exhibition platforms to artists with intellectual disabilities. Rather than positioning its artists as cultural and social outsiders, Stetler’s essay aims to establish the Creative Growth Art Center as integral to our understanding of disability rights advocacy, community-based art practice, and the value of art to human experience in the late 20th century.

Pepper Stetler is associate professor of Art History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and associate director of the Miami University Humanities Center. She is the author of Stop Reading! Look!: Modern Vision and the Weimar Photographic Book (University of Michigan Press, 2016). She curated the exhibition Craft and Camera: The Art of Nancy Ford Cones, which opened in 2022 at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati. She has written extensively about the history of art and photography of the early 20th century in publications including Fotogeschichte, Getty Research Journal, and Transbordeur. She has also published essays on intellectual disability in The Atlantic, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Gulf Coast, and Slate.