The 3rd annual Art in Mill Park art fair took place on Saturday, August 10, 2013 in Paoli, Wisconsin. The event is sponsored by the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin and Lovely Days Gallery and Teaching Studio of Paoli. Forty eight artists exhibited their work to the public and a silent art auction was held to benefit the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin. The majority of artists who exhibited their work were from Wisconsin, although artists were present from as far away as Florida. A wide variety of art was available for sale, including paintings, drawings, photography, metal sculptures, stained glass, mosaic work, fabric pieces, and whimsical folk art. Paoli is located about 13 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin.
Lovely Days Gallery and Teaching Studio is owned by Mark Dilley and Bonnie Lubet, who are both parents of young adults with autism spectrum disorders. The gallery currently accepts art pieces on consignment from over 70 artists. Mr. Dilley reports that 10 of these artists have autism spectrum disorders. He states that the Art in Mill Park event gives the couple the opportunity to give back to the community that has helped their sons. “It gives us a way to raise awareness and provide opportunities for young adults with autism.” Mr. Dilley reports that, while the numbers are not yet in this year, last year’s event raised over $1000 for the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin. He also estimates the attendance at this year’s event to be between 2500 and 3000 people.
Two of the artists who exhibited at this event have autism spectrum disorders. Alex Haunty had a variety of his flower paintings, prints and cards for sale. He says his art is inspired by Vincent Van Gough. “I like to touch and inspire people with art” Haunty said. Haunty uses 50% of the money he earns to fund theater trips for the group Best Buddies, a social organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities based in Middleton, Wisconsin. Haunty’s art may be viewed on his website, http://inspiringartbyalex.com. Evan Halpop exhibited a selection of his sports and live music photography. Halpop reports that he likes the challenge of trying to anticipate what the sports teams or bands will do next and capturing that on film. He states that his autism actually helps him to tune out the background and focus on the subject of a photograph, allowing him to take just the right picture. Halpop says that his favorite sport to photograph is hockey, as he is a hockey player himself with the Wisconsin Timber Wolves in Madison, Wisconsin. This team is a member team of the Wisconsin Special Hockey Association, a hockey league for children and adults with special needs. Halpop’s photography may be viewed on his website, www.evanhalpopphotography.com.
The Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin is an affiliate of the Autism Society of Wisconsin. Their services may be viewed through their website, www.autismsouthcentral.org. Lovely Days Gallery and Teaching Studio will be changing its name to Mill Park Gallery this fall. Their website is located at www.lovelydaysinpaoli.com.