Our Story Cynthia Drucker, Founder Artists with Autism, Inc
It was my vision to promote the
artistic abilities of my son with autism and others like him. Brandon is the dreamer with many goals in his life. He is the catalyst that gave ArtistsWithAutism a purpose. One of Brandons’ many interests is to illustrate the stories he writes. With reams of paper filled with drawings, I felt a need to find a way to preserve his childhood drawings and those he continued to create. Then, one Christmas, I had an “a Ha!” moment when I received a Holiday card, similar to Brandons style of drawing. I asked him if he would like to make Christmas cards with his drawings and offer them for sale. He agreed it would be a fun idea. I started printing Holiday cards to send to friends and family. They were well liked, and they wanted more!
During this time I had recently formed a local social group for teens and young adults with high functioning autism/aspergers syndrome, The Fort Lauderdale Aspergers Meetup. Within the group, I met other parents with talented children who were searching for ways to promote the artistic abilities of their own children.
July 2010, ArtistsWithAutism was conceived with four founding artists.
During the first two and half years, the four founding members shared a booth or table at local venues such as outdoor farmers markets, craft fairs, and church bazaars selling their artwork and learning the basics of building an art business.
Then, on On January 16, 2015, The Festival Flea Market has generously offered to sponsor our first brick and mortar gallery. Artists with Autism opened their doors to their first permanent physical gallery, “Artists with Autism Gallery and Gift Boutique” located inside the Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach, Florida.
The artists of ArtistsWithAutism, have achieved more, and have more ambition, than many of their neurotypical counterparts. They have an internal desire to learn, though they may learn in unconditional ways.
Though each member continues to have personal struggles relating to their Autism diagnosis, they continue to succeed, because their family chooses to believe in them. They are proof that despite the dismal prognosis from prominent medical professionals, some children with autism can far exceed their childhood expectations.
Each member has their distinctive style of art they are most comfortable with. Some use colored pencils and ink drawings on paper, others use acrylic and oils on canvas, and one member prefers 3d sculpture art. Their abilities range from professionally educated proficient digital art to stencil drawings, and everything in between. All are masterpieces in their own form.
Many of the parents and family members are involved directly or indirectly through collaboration of ideas and efforts as needed to continue to help the success of our children by volunteering at the Gallery and become integral members of our working Board. I see the Gallery as the prototype of more to come in the future.