PORTRAITS OF AUTISM


  • AMP GALLERY 432 Commercial St. Provincetown. MA 02657 USA

Opening Reception Friday July 28, 2017 6-9pm
Artist will be in attendance.

Eddie at Five, 2017 Oil on canvas 42x54"

*This exhibit is made possible by the generous support of Art Patron Rosemary Conniry and Art Market Provincetown (AMP) Gallery Director and Curator Debbie Nadolney.

This new body of work seeks to create a platform for social awareness while opening up a discussion about available support systems and funding for both children and adults diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The oil portraits in this series follow five families who are currently caring for a child or adult with ASD ranging in ages 9-46. The focus of this new body of work is to provide a public connection and “face” to bring awareness to the many challenges as well as successes in caring for both children and adults with autism. 

A fundamental shift to Medicaid would have far-reaching consequences for people with disabilities, affecting the availability of everything from health care to home and community-based services. The fiscal sustainability of Medicaid is essential to making sure that those who depend on the program can know it will be there for them in the future.

Keir at Ten, 2017 Oil on canvas 42x52"

For many families raising a child on the autistic spectrum there is a persistent fear and concern for their child’s future. This becomes increasingly disconcerting as parents begin to look at the reality of what may happen when they are no longer alive or become incapable of caring for them. Small children are the public face of autism, their appeal helping to win public understanding and educational support. Will there be public support for them as adults?

For hundreds of thousands of adolescents with autism about to become adults, there are very few programs or little to no housing available. For those desperate to find a solution, it is a “public health crisis.” Roughly 500,000 children with autism will become adults over the next 10 years. According to recent statistics Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the US with 1 in every 68 children diagnosed with ASD. 

Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have seen significant changes in our environment. As a society, we have gotten comfortable with the idea of accommodations for people with physical disabilities. For people with extreme behavioral challenges of autism, society is almost at a loss as to what to do for them. One third of children with autism never speak, only making grunts and high pitched sounds.

Finn at Nine, 2017 Oil on canvas 42x52"

Finn at Nine, 2017 Oil on canvas 42x52"

It is a misconceived belief that by the time a child with Autism reaches the age of 21 they will smoothly make the transition into adulthood without special guidance and continued support. For many families the option to send their autistic child to a group home or some other type of institution (if even available) is heartbreaking and not an option they are willing to consider. For others, the often difficult choice to find a residential school or group home is necessary for the well being and safety of the child and family as a whole. As parents age often the role of guardianship for the adult with ASD is passed on to a sibling or other family member.

**A special thanks to the five families, children and adults who are currently participating in this project: Deana Becker (August), Kaarin Elizabeth (Buhdda, Elizabeth, Wolfgang), Brian Galloway (Eddie), Ruby and Scot Gamble (Atticus, Keir), Alysia Abbott, Annabel and Jeff Howe (Finn).

 

If you are interested in supporting or participating in this project: GET INVOLVED

 

 

 

 

March 17
BELOW SEA LEVEL