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Storied: San Francisco

Jan 11, 2022

This episode is the second in a series we're doing with Creativity Explored. CE's mission is "to provide developmentally disabled people access to the human right of creative expression." Check back Thursday for the next episode in this series, where we meet Studio Director Paul Moshammer.

Joseph "JD" Green lives close enough to Creativity Explored on 16th Street that he walks to get there.

JD has been with Creativity Explored since just after he graduated from high school 10 years ago. He was doing art in the building where he lives, in Hayes Valley, when someone let him know about the organization serving people with developmental disabilities.

He's been making art nearly his whole life, inspired by TV shows, animation, and cartoons. Nickelodeon and Disney characters made up the bulk of figures he drew, but his favorite to this day is Spider-Man.

JD also does social and political art. He tells us all about a collaboration he did with other Creativity Explored artists looking at Black identity through the lens of "blackface" and flipping the script on white supremacy. In 2019, he was part of a show with other Black CE artists called "Blackiful" that looked at police violence against people of color.

JD recounts his first visit to CE for us. He was in awe of the large space filled with so many people "just doing art." He immediately loved it and started meeting other artists.

Today, he still draws cartoons, but his main jam is portraits. He's drawn Michael Jackson, Prince, and David Bowie, among other singers and celebrities. He also does ceramics in addition to painting and drawing.

We end this episode with what JD loves about San Francisco and who his favorite artists are, including fellow Creativity Explored artist and JD's friend, Gerald Wiggins.

If you missed it, Part 1 with CE's Executive Director, Linda Johnson, can be found here.

We recorded this podcast at Creativity Explored in the Mission in December 2021.

Photography by Jeff Hunt