community news Artists with Autism Display Their Work in Miramar By Debby Teich
group of young artists may have autism and other disabilities, but that has not stopped them from creating, displaying, selling and donating their own artwork. They belong to Artists with Autism (AWA), a networking group that helps members develop their artistic talents and provides ways for them to share their artwork with the community. The artists have displayed their work at the DisAbilities EXPO at NOVA Southeastern University, ArtServe in Ft. Lauderdale, the Melody of Hope Tour in Plantation and many other places. This month, they will exhibit at Miramar’s UniLatina International College, 3130 Commerce Parkway. The artwork will be on display for the entire month in recognition of Autism Awareness month. On April 15, the artists will be available to discuss their work. Cynthia Drucker founded Artists with Autism for her son Brandon, 19, who was diagnosed with autism when he was three-years-old. He is non verbal and has always used drawing as a way to express his thoughts and ideas. Two years ago she started the Ft. Lauderdale Asperger networking group to provide Brandon with an outlet to make friends and socialize. She noticed that many of the group’s members were very artistic and wanted to find a
way for them to showcase their techniques from professionals. They talent and earn an income from it. also take field trips to see and study AWA provides guidance, public art. The artists do not have expertise, and venue resources to enough work to display on their aspiring artists with a disability. It own so the group allows them to encourages members and/or share the cost of the exhibiting at their sponsors to actively parlocal art galleries for exposure and ticipate through membership awareness. Members are responmeetings, art shows, opening sible for selling their own creations, receptions, and various events; which may involve marketing and establish their own micro-entermaintaining a website, and get prising business that will foster to retain 100 percent of the proself enrichment and a source of ceeds. The money that they earn income; and seek opportunities helps them work their way toward to promote their artistic talents becoming more independent. “The to the community. It also offers students are so happy to know hope and encouragement for that others recognize their taltheir families. Membership is free ents,” said Drucker. “As a parent, for all artists with a disability Members of Artists with Autism learn about public art as it is an incredible feeling to know study Alice Aycock’s "Whirls and Swirls and a Vortex on The group currently has four they that Brandon is giving back to the Water” at Central Broward Regional Park. (l to r) Brandon visual artists and one literary Drucker, Jayson Halberstadt, Andres Pola and Michael Vidal. community and making money.” artist. Their stories and work are available on the AWA website, www.ArtistsWithAutism. For more information or to purchase artwork, visit org. Members create their artwork on their own. They www.ArtistsWithAutism.org, call 954-895-2786 or meet to participate in art classes where they learn new send an email to FlaGaL1106@yahoo.com.
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