Fresh Starts was inspired by the story of Mickey Mouse—an iconic character who celebrates his 90th anniversary this year. For Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse signified a fresh start after losing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal Studios. Walt is famously quoted as saying, “It all started with a mouse,” However, visitors to The Walt Disney Family Museum quickly learn that Walt’s previous challenges, including a bankrupt company at age twenty-two, informed his life and legacy. Walt’s story of failure leading to success was a source of inspiration for each artist represented in the exhibition.
This exhibition presents juried artworks created in museum-sponsored art-making sessions at three different juvenile detention centers in the greater San Francisco Bay Area: Camp Wilmont Sweeney in Alameda County, The Log Cabin Ranch of San Francisco Unified School District, and Hillcrest School (part of the Court Schools of San Mateo).
Fresh Starts is the third in a series of Community Access Exhibitions inspired by the vision of The Walt Disney Family Museum's founder, Diane Disney Miller, who championed arts access as a vital component of the museum's commitment to community engagement. In 2016, the museum presented Transformations: Creativity from the Inside Out, celebrating artists with disabilities, and in 2017, the museum exhibited works by underserved seniors as a part of Looking Inward: Painting a Journey.