Tom di Maria and Matthew Higgs discuss the work of William Scott

This special online event was held in anticipation of our upcoming William Scott exhibition, with Tom di Maria, Director of the celebrated Creative Growth Arts Center, in conversation with Matthew Higgs, Director and Chief Curator of White Columns.

While deeply rooted in personal history, Scott’s paintings explore the intersections of science fiction, the built environment and pop culture to address wider questions of community and cultural memory. di Maria and Higgs discussed the artist’s work ahead of his first–ever solo institutional exhibition outside of the USA, as well as the wider work and importance of Creative Growth, where Scott has practiced since 1992.

The event included a pre–recorded studio visit with the artist, in which Scott discussed recent work with di Maria and Creative Growth’s Studio Special Projects Coordinator, Kathleen Henderson.

Higgs has collaborated with di Maria and Creative Growth’s artists since 2004, including staging significant exhibitions of Scott’s work. Founded in 1974, Creative Growth is a leading not–for–profit organisation based in Oakland, California that serves artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. Artists working with Creative Growth have been exhibited at and acquired by prominent museums worldwide, including MoMA, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and the American Folk Art Museum.

About William Scott

William Scott (b.1964, San Francisco) has presented solo exhibitions and projects at Ortuzar Projects, New York (2020); White Columns, New York (2006, 2009); and his work has been exhibited at Hayward Gallery, London (2013); Berkeley Art Museum, California (2011); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2008). Scott’s work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

Contributor biographies

Matthew Higgs is currently the Director and Chief Curator of White Columns, New York. He has collaborated with Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center and its artists since 2004. He organized solo exhibitions with William Scott at White Columns in 2006 and 2009, and in 2008 he organized a survey of William Scott’s work for the Palais de Tokyo, Paris as a part of Jeremy Deller’s ‘Carte Blanche’ project. Higgs was previously the Curator at the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco and an Associate Director of Exhibitions at London’s ICA.

Tom di Maria is the Director of Creative Growth Art Center and has been in position since 2000. Since then, he has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth’s artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. Prior to this position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley, and Executive Director of the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. He has received filmmaking awards from the Sundance Film Festival and others festivals for his experimental filmmaking, and in 2019 he received the Visionary Award from the American Folk Art Museum in New York.

Image credit(s)

William Scott, Untitled, date unknown. Courtesy of the artist and Creative Growth.