Developed by Shield Institute in 2002, Pure Visions is a specially designed studio that serves as a creative outlet providing those on the spectrum with a space to craft their pieces by honing their natural skills, talents and abilities. Because many individuals with autism find it difficult to engage with their peers and within their communities, pursuing interests and hobbies often helps them to do so both meaningfully and in a way that allows them to feel comfortable.
The studio is currently located in a 2500 square foot loft situated in the heart of Chelsea and is filled with a multitude of canvasses, sculptures and portraits made by those who regularly use the studio. The work itself, created by artists including Nicole Appels and Chase Ferguson, is often unique and imaginative, thus reflecting the differing views and sensory perceptions held by the individuals who craft them.
However since its inception, the art studio has not only assisted the artists to develop their talent, it has ultimately served to help dispel the preconceived notions many have regarding inviduals with special needs as well.
Source: Rachel Nuwer on the Smithsonian website: This Art Studio Nurtures Talent in People on the Autism Spectrum