Thursday, 26 March 2009

Art & Autism: upcoming book and art show this Saturday

Went to get my hair extensions out last week... what an ordeal of chemicals, hair pulling, and several hours later....luckily some hair still remains. I miss the long hair but not the work to upkeep it. Justine, my new and great up-and-coming stylist recommended a new look so I went for bangs. Fun. Anyways, 2 1/2 hours later we told each other our life stories and I learned her brother, Kevin and mother were also artists and by the by he was having a show this upcoming weekend...

This Saturday at the Palm Lofts Gallery in Carpinteria is a very art special show by a young fourteen year old man, Kevin Hosseini and his artist mentor Steve Richardson.

Kevin, a prolific oil painter, along with his mom Debbie, were recently featured in a documentary By Keri Bowers entitled "Arts: A film about Possibilities, Disabilities, and the ARTS" . 

Debbie is also working on a book connecting art and autism called Artism ANew - Shattering the Myths of Autism through the voice of Art . In telling me about the book she says; "The book takes myths about autism, such as people with autism have no feelings or emotions, and presents visual counterpoints to that myth.  Artism Anew features 55 artists with autism or Aspergers (a form of autism).  Each artist has also given Debbie poetry or quotes for the book. Its a full-colored coffee table book and is very beautiful."

Debbie explained to me the relationship to autism and art is that 10 percent of people with autism have a savant skill, such as math, music, or art.  This compared to only 1 percent in the typical population. In her opinion, they are able to tap into the Creative Force much more easily than normal people. They are also able to immerse themselves in the work creating true, unaffected paintings.  Kevin's art mentor Steve Richardson says that kevin has a natural looseness in his painting that many trained artist strive for.

Personally, I have no experience working with or being around autistic people. My experience is limited to Rainman, however I have a friend from high school whose son is Autistic and I truly can't wait to hear her comments about this concept that perhaps autistic people do have easier access to the Creative Force, as Debbie calls it.

I do  think though that one of the biggest things that typically stops adults from being creative - painting, writing, etc - are a lot of their thoughts and beliefs that don't serve them. Perhaps autistic people don't have the mind chatter telling them they can't or shouldn't or aren't good enough and are therefore free to create and be in process more easily than the rest of us mind entrapped beings! 

Your thoughts? Please comment below.

For more information about Debbie's soon to be published book  Artism ANew - Shattering the Myths of Autism through the Voice and Art of Those on the Spectrum  please contact Debbie Hosseini at or (805) 259-6879.

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