The first time I ever came to the AANE office, it was to participate in a painting workshop. It was there that I saw a copy of “Seeing with a Different Eye,” the catalog of the art exhibit from fall 2007 Asperger Connections Conference. I vowed to get some of my art into the next event, and my work was included in the fall 2009 exhibit. As a result I learned about the Artists Collaborative, and I’ve been coming to meetings regularly.
With the AANE Gallery and website, artists now have visibility and a way to sell our work, and opportunities to learn about the business end of things. Even more important, we, the artists, are getting an opportunity to grow: to build up and show off some of our unique but often unseen strengths and essences. We have all heard that there is strength in numbers; I think we are starting to find the kind of strength that comes from people complementing and enriching each other.
A spirit of appreciation and cooperation
Maybe it’s because each of us struggles every day. We each have our own mountains to climb. Maybe that makes people more willing to make way, or lend an ear or a hand. Maybe it’s because we’re autistic or Asperger’s—with our different view or “wiring.” Or maybe it’s just the way all people are supposed to act—but rarely do. I’m not sure. But something is making us all shine a little brighter. In the last year I have noticed that people seem more at ease and at home when we get together. We are becoming a family of artists.
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