Young autistic artists exhibit art work at ‘Art Works Now’

“What We See” exhibit at Art Works Now, Mount Rainier, Washington – Deion Hawkins, 19 has autism. He enrolled in art classes as part of the Accessible Arts program at Art Works Now in Mount Rainier.

His art work is now part of the “What We See” exhibit, which is taking place in the studio’s gallery.

Mari-Jane Williams in the Washington Post reports that using fine motor skills such as drawing can be difficult for Deion due to his autism.

Leslie Holt, his teacher, projects drawings and photographs onto larger paper on the wall, where Deion can then trace and paint them.

Lesley Holt said.

“The adaptive piece is trying to figure out what they want to do next because their language skills are somewhat limited. There’s a lot of nonverbal cues I have to take in terms of figuring out where they want to go with their work and how I can push or nudge them in certain directions.”

Deion’s work includes self-portraits and characters from the movie “Lady and the Tramp”.

Lesley Holt said:

“He’ll (Deion) come in and say, ‘I made this.’ At the opening reception, he was buzzing all around telling people about the movies. And Rikki . . . was just hamming it up, posing for the cameras. That experience of having your stuff on the wall and having people come see it is really powerful.”

The “What We See” exhibition will run until Feb. 15. The gallery is also selling pieces from the exhibit.

The full article by Mari-Jane Williams in The Washington Post can be found here