Britany Evans, facilitator of Whiting’s Studio 659’s “Art + Autism = Artism” exhibit, hopes her show dispels any preconceived notions some people may have about autistic persons.
“Some people will say ‘oh, your kid’s like ‘Rain Man’” or they’ll say ‘oh, like Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ and that’s not it at all, “she said. “Our kids are talented and gifted, and it’s not just about numbers or science. They’re into the arts, too, and there’s this whole world of autism and the arts that people don’t put together.”
Running at Studio 659 through May 13, Evans, who resides in Whiting and is the parent of an autistic child, is the founder of Northwest Indiana Mothers of Autistic Children.
Evans held her first Northwest Indiana Mothers of Autistic Children meeting in August and, since then, has seen her group grow by leaps and bounds. The organization has grown exponentially, Evans said, in terms of members, and is partnering with Total Spectrum, an organization with offices in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan that offers programs to autistic kids to provide autism emergency training for police and fire departments.
More than a dozen artists contributed approximately 30 two and three dimensional works for “Artism.” Participating artists whose works are featured in the exhibit take art classes at region-based Dungarvin centers, which provide programs to individuals with a myriad of disabilities.
Evans is admittedly impressed with the quality of the works that make up “Artism.”
“Abstract is really big right in the art world itself, and what I think is so cool is that’s how autistic kids and adults see the world anyways,” she said. “They see the world differently, and the art shows their view of the world.”
Additionally, the pieces that make up “Artism” will be available for purchase, with the proceeds going to the artists.
“Some of the pieces are $20 and other pieces are $200, and when I heard that, I said ‘rock on,’” Evans said. “(The price) is what the individual (artist) thinks, and that gives them self-worth and self-confidence, and I think that’s pretty awesome.”
Studio 659 is open noon to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.