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Art & Autism

The Impact of Art & Autism

If you have met a person on the Autism Spectrum and did not know it, you probably walked away with a curious impression. Curious enough that maybe you told someone about it. In this way, autism generates a buzz.

Unlike most disabilities, there are few physical cues associated with autism. Social cues may be a more obvious way to detect neuro-diversity. Interacting with a person on the Spectrum may leave you charmed, confused, dazzled by intriguing facts, or simply frustrated by odd behavior. Color it any way you’d like, but the reality is that autism has had an illuminating impact, bringing unexpected light and shade to the mainstream.

Some on the Spectrum have turned this light and shade into eclectic artwork, giving the public a peek into the enigmatic world of autism. A small band of artists – all on the Autism Spectrum – have been exhibiting their work at venues throughout Western New York, showing spectators what society and its citizens look like through their eyes. This band of “outsider artists” is organized by Autism Services, and the exhibited works are created throughout the year as part of the participants’ arts program.

“Many individuals with autism are non-verbal. But that does not mean they cannot find other ways of communicating with the public. Art and music are creative ways of doing that,” says Veronica Federiconi, Autism Services Executive Director.

The results can be funny, though not always flattering. An ironic painting of celebrity Nikki Hilton is not as “sexy” as its title promises. This painting, like some others, has a satirical tone. Chances are that the satire is not deliberate. It is simply how the artist sees and interprets our world. In other works, combative elements manage to co-exist on the same canvas. To view these works is to experience an altered perspective on typical language and ideas – an appropriate effect for an oeuvre considered to be “outsider art.”

Click the images below to sample the art of autism

Nicky HiltonAn ironic painting of celebrity Nikki Hilton is not as “sexy” as its title promises.

Art & Autism

Autistic Services Inc.


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