GraceArt goes Soho. On Thurs., October 27, 2011, the art work of my daughter, Grace Goad, will be in a show at the Soho Digital Art Gallery. She is one of several artists with autism featured in the exhibit, "THE ART OF AUTISM, An Art Show Featuring Artists on the Spectrum," which runs three weeks. The show benefits the Reach for the Stars Learning Center in New York.
The woman behind the show, one of a series of traveling exhibits, plus the second edition of the book series, The Art of Autism, is autism mother-advocate Debra Hosseini. Kinda spookily, this woman reminds me of myself, kinda like we're living parallel lives of sort. She's divorced, has a child on the autism spectrum who's an artist and promotes her son's gifts as well as other artists with autism and other disAbilities. She found us via our site, GraceGoad.com. Thank you, Debbie!
Also, like me, Hosseini is writing books about autism, except she's just published her second and I'm still working on number two. You can learn more about the works of this ambitious, visionary mother-advocate on her effort's Facebook page, The Art of Autism. GraceArt will be featured in The Art of Autism: 2012 Edition.
Here's more about Hosseini's mission: "The Art of Autism is a collaborative effort that bring awareness to the general public of the creative abilities of people with autism. Our plan is to do this, in part, by facilitating exhibits of their work throughout the world. By bringing awareness about the artistic gifts of people on the spectrum, The Art of Autism inspires community members, gives hope to parents of children on the spectrum, as well as adults with autism, and shifts consciousness about autism."
Now, haven't I been saying this for a dozen years? "Art is the window through which the typically developing world can see the potential and beauty of people with disAbilities."
Says Hosseini: "The Art of Autism art show combines a book signing and art from local and traveling visual artists, as well as poets and poetry. At each show, an artist produces their art onsite. The Art of Autism helps to boost confidence of artists on the spectrum and enhance their career choices. This is accomplished by: (1) media attention given to the book and/or the local art shows; (2) display and sale of their art at the show itself; (3) creating their work on site, which shows the process behind their art; and (4) recitations of poetry, and (5) presentations about autism and art and other relevant subjects.
And more about Hosseini: She is the mother of three children, including her youngest, Kevin, an artist on the autism spectrum. In 2005, Hosseini began curating art shows for people with developmental disabilities. In 2008, she was approached by Karen Simmons of Autism Today to write the second Art of Autism book.
In April of 2011, the book Artism: The Art of Autism – Shattering Myths Through the Voices and Art of Those on the Spectrum was released. The book features 54 artists with autism from around the world. Some of the artists in the book are well-known, such as Temple Grandin and Donna Williams. Others are struggling to make a viable career out of their passion. Through national and local interviews of artists in the book, Hosseini began receiving requests from organizations in different cities to have shows featuring artists on the spectrum. Those requests continue, increasing in number at an overwhelming rate. This has led to shows outside her local community in cities, such as Vancouver, B.C., Los Angeles, New York, Ventura, and The Berkshires in 2011. She has also partnered with Keri Bowers, another mother of a creative young man on the autism spectrum. Keri has an Art of Autism entertainment show.
One goal of the Art of Autism is to enhance the community in which the show takes place, increasing awareness of the art and the artists themselves, as well the local agency which promotes the show and serves people with autism. The majority of monies made from sale of the art go directly to the artists themselves. Each show also generates donations for a local nonprofit. Funding for the shows is minimal. Art galleries often donate the space to display the art or receive a commission from the show.
The majority of expenditures relate to travel, sometimes accommodations and meals for the artists and curator. In the past, traveling artists have covered their own expenses. In the future, the Art of Autism’s goal is to pay for artist’s travel expenses by securing sponsorships.
[LOVE THIS:] "Many people hear negative news stories about those on the spectrum [and, often] people with autism internalize these negative [views]. The Art of Autism aspires to change the media coverage and educate the general community about autism."
*"Puzzle," above, is one of three pieces submitted for the Soho show and the book, The Art of Autism: 2012 Edition. I am unsure which or if all three will be used. You can learn more about "Puzzle," in GraceGoad.com, and, this post, featured on "The Journey with Grace."