Camille Holvoet

March 14–April 29, 2023

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Camille Holvoet (b. 1952, San Francisco, CA) an artist who, since 2001, has been affiliated with Creativity Explored, a studio-based program in San Francisco that supports a community of artists with disabilities.

Holvoet grew up in San Francisco and, due to behavioral issues, was separated from her family at a young age. Institutionalized as a child, she eventually lost contact with her parents and siblings, but not before her older sisters taught her how to draw. Holvoet spent the rest of her adolescence and early adulthood living in group homes. Holvoet’s exhibition at White Columns focuses on a series of visceral, large-format pastel drawings that she produced between 1988 and 2001, when she was affiliated with Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center. (White Columns director Matthew Higgs came across them in Creative Growth’s archives in 2022 whilst researching for another exhibition.)  In these important earlier works Holvoet documents the often complex realities of her daily life: including portraits of friends, memories of her home life, her ongoing experiences with medication and medical procedures, depictions of funerals, and – crucially – her self-determined identity as an artist. At once diaristic and direct, Holvoet’s work from this era provides us with an unflinching yet poignant account of life’s myriad pleasures and contradictions.

Since 2001 Holvoet has worked in the studios of San Francisco’s Creativity Explored. She is now perhaps best known for her exuberant drawings of desserts and foodstuffs that conflate desire, consumption and seduction, three early examples of which can be viewed in White Columns’ office space. Writing about Holvoet in 2015, Priscilla Frank succinctly described her approach: “Sugar, frosting, cherries, pills, bodies, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds … these are the ingredients that make up Holvoet’s body of work. Like the strange lovechild of Wayne Thiebaud and Dorothy Iannone, Holvoet generously offers her viewers an all-you-can-see buffet of edible indulgence…”



Camille Holvoet (b. 1952) lives and works in San Francisco. Since 2001 she has been affiliated with Creativity Explored. Her work has been exhibited extensively at Creativity Explored, and in exhibitions at Jack Fischer Gallery (San Francisco), Summertime (New York), Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco), and at the Outsider Art Fair (New York), among other venues. To learn more, visit the artist’s page at:



White Columns would like to thank the staff of both Creative Growth and Creativity Explored for their enthusiasm and support for this exhibition. To learn more about both organizations visit: and

Since 2005 White Columns has collaborated on more than forty exhibitions and projects with national and international organizations that support artists with disabilities including: Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA; NIAD, Richmond, CA; Visionaries + Voices, Cincinnati, OH; Fountain House, New York, NY; HAI, New York, NY; Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland; and Intoart, London, England among others.

For further information about this exhibition contact:

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Camille Holvoet, The New EEG Test in Chips…, 1988. Pastel and pencil on paper, 22 × 30 in.