The Center for Creative Works is a unique work environment with a goal of developing creative work potential and cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities.
Creative Works combines supported studio art development with work opportunities-including supported employment options – and community programming. Participants learn and work in drawing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, textiles, design, music and other media. A staff of mentor artists teach professional materials and techniques, with the goal of developing participants as artists, artisans, and designers. We foster individual expression and skill development, promoting our artists’ work through public exhibitions, art fairs, and other events in the community.
Our fully engaged program includes many options for inclusion, growth, exploration and development of individual talents and skills within each person. CCW is committed to realizing potential for everyone to contribute in truly meaningful and productive ways, and to support our artists in building their cultural identity as members of their community.
CCW grew from the Lower Merion Vocational Training Center, which was founded, by Resources for Human Development, in 1972. LMVTC followed a sheltered workshop model, in which participants do traditional vocational contract work, like stuffing envelopes and shredding paper. Transforming into an arts program in 2010, CCW became a place for participants to explore creative ways to earn money, express themselves, engage with and contribute to their communities, and build artistic skills. Through exhibiting and selling artwork, working on contract design jobs, and developing products, artists are able to attain ownership over the work that they engage in, while developing sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities.
The artwork has been embraced by the greater Philadelphia arts community, and our artists have exhibited work at the Outsider Arts Fair, NYC; Outsider Arts Fair, St Louis; Crawford Gallery, Cork Ireland; Delaware County Community College Art Gallery; Woodmere Museum; Fleisher/Ollman Gallery; Pageant Soloveev Gallery; FJORD Gallery; Weird Days Gallery, NYC; the Free Library of Philadelphia, and many other venues.
CCW is devoted to providing individualized support for artistic development as our artists realize their creative potential. We believe that fostering personal and professional growth in the arts can enable meaningful experiences and full lives for our participant artists.