The artwork of five artists with autism was featured this month in an event hosted by The San Diego State Center for Autism, in collaboration with the Art of Autism, a California-based nonprofit.
Held at the SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, the event’s featured artists included Alex Nichols, Austin Jones, Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Joel Anderson and Kevin Hosseini. Each artist was provided with their own space to display their work, with their paintings accompanied by individual biographies.
The creative inspiration for each of the artists stemmed from unique and surprising sources. Jeremy Sicile-Kira, an artist with synesthesia (a disorder creating mixed senses) said he was inspired by dreams of being in an art show. The biography for Austin Jones, a graduate of the ArtCenter College of Design, explained that his creativity began at an early age.
The Art of Autism was co-founded by Debra Hosseini, the mother of Kevin Hosseini, one of the artists with autism whose work was featured in the gallery.
“The thing that I think is really misunderstood about autism is that because (people on the spectrum) don’t perceive things like you or me – neurotypical people – that they don’t have other skills or other ways of perceiving the world,” Debra said.
Dr. Inna Fishman, the Center’s founding director, said the organization always welcomes volunteers who have experience with special needs or are interested in learning.