'Autism Rocks' exhibition to highlight abilities

image“Autism Rocks at Any Speed: An Exhibition of Images Created by Autistic Artists” will open the season at SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery with a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

The exhibition showcases work by six Oregon artists—Renee Curtiss, Melissa Dahl, Frank Flanders, Carl Kinney, Ryo Mastrogiovanni and Kwame Minta—who display their artistic skills through watercolors, magic markers, collage and computer graphics.

“Autism Rocks at Any Speed” will illustrate the creative outlet that many adults and children with autism have experienced through the visual arts. Five of the exhibited artists are adults, while 6-year-old Dahl created her computer-generated images last year. Although she has difficulty with conversations, Dahl expresses her feelings successfully through her colorful artwork.

Flanders, the most prolific artist of the group, has been successful with the watercolor medium, producing elaborate farmhouse scenes to subtler, simpler images such as a slice of watermelon or a shoe.

This special exhibition is part of Arts and Psychology programming for the current SUNY Oswego Reading Initiative selection, Elizabeth Moon’s “The Speed of Dark.” The works of art are made available through Kindtree Productions, an organization based in Oregon that is dedicated to serving and celebrating the autism community through art, education and recreation.

The Hilyard Community Center, an art facility supported by the city of Eugene, offers art classes where many of the exhibited pieces were created. Kindtree uses these images and those created by artists at home to promote their art through the creation of cards and prints and through traveling exhibitions and art fairs. Many pieces from the Tyler exhibition will be available for purchase.

“Autism Rocks at Any Speed” will run through Oct. 18. Auxiliary Services sponsors the opening reception. It opens concurrently with “Locations: Four Video Installation Artists,” a multimedia exhibition that explores concepts of personal space and identity.

Tyler Art Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekends. Gallery events are free and open to the public.

Visitors with disabilities needing assistance to attend gallery events may call the gallery office in advance at 312-2113.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Cultivating talent—This watercolor painting of a farmhouse by Frank Flanders will be among the work on display at “Autism Rocks at Any Speed: An Exhibition of Images Created by Autistic Artists” in SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery.

(Posted: Aug 17, 2005)

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