Promoting Microenterprising, Providing Opportunities, Creating Independence  

Artists With Autism

A Not for profit Networking Group for aspiring artists on the autism spectrum


The AWA Blog will keep our friends and guests up to date with the latest happenings and future events that our members will be involved in.

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Autism Art exhibit at Bank in Wellington

Posted on July 24, 2015 at 11:45 AM

June 2015

Art in public places helps to enrich our communities and form long lasting relationships with our local businesses. The practice of art in public places allows artists to share their creative expression for public enjoyment and helps to inspire creativity in all.

Andrea Kalina, Assistant Vice President at Amtrust Bank in Wellington, Florida invited Artists with Autism, Inc. to exhibit artwork to help raise awareness for autism. On display at the bank, covering the walls, are over thirty pieces of artwork showcasing the works of artists with autism. The artwork includes digital art by Jayson Halberstadt, acrylics by Brandon Drucker, Keith Rebarber, Leah Nesenmen, Andres Pola, watercolor art by Norval Hall, and photography by Sarah Rollins.

A private reception was held for the bank employees to meet and greet the artists with the opportunity to purchase an original piece of artwork to take home.

Art in the workplace is a movement that has seen positive impacts benefiting the employees and the community. The employees enjoy a fresh new look, and the artists enjoy the opportunity to share their talents.

Elaine Halberstadt is curator for the Autism Art exhibit at Amtrust and hopes it will spark an interest in other organizations to provide opportunities for aspiring artists with autism. As the grandmother of one of the participating artist, she has seen the impact her grandson has had by being a member of Artists with Autism. Jayson is one of the original founding members and an emerging digital artist. Mrs. Halberstadt says, “Jayson has become much more social” since being part of Artists with Autism.

The Autism Art exhibit is expected to remain for the month of June with new pieces added each week.


Autism Art in the workplace

Posted on June 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM


Dental office in Boca Raton exhibits Autism Art in the workplace


A dental office in Boca Raton exhibits autism art in the workplace. The trend to have art in the workplace is becoming popular with large corporations. Research has shown the benefits include productivity and creativity among employees.

The value of art in the workplace has been proven to enhance the work environment and helps to build customer and community relations, enhances morale, reduces stress and increases creativity.

Employees typically spend the majority of their working hours at the workplace and to make the environment more appealing only adds to comfort of all.

Boca Dental Group, located in Boca Raton Florida has recently incorporated the idea of Art in the workplace to enhance the reception room ambiance. The staff welcomes the new, fresh art created by a local artist with autism. Barbara is the insurance coordinator for Dr. Brian Gross at Boca Dental Group. As one of the staff members, she says the art makes her happy and “there is never too much art”. Crystal is the hygienist; she says “it lightens up the atmosphere”. Kendra has heard the positive feedback from the patients and says for her, the art in the workplace “makes it look more festive“.

The artist, Brandon Drucker, was invited by Dr. Brian Gross, owner of Boca Dental Group to display his artwork. As an artist with autism, Brandon has had his artwork on exhibit at other public locations including Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Victoria Park Hotel in Wilton Manors, ArtsPark in Hollywood and others. Brandon is one of the founding members of Artists With Autism, Inc, a not for profit organization that provides opportunities for aspiring and emerging artists with autism.

Art in the workplace helps communities and business establish lasting relationships. For more information about how your business can help provide arts awareness, contact the Business for the Arts of Broward or ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Brandon Drucker can be reached at his gallery/studio at the Artists With Autism Gallery and Gift Boutique located inside the Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach.

If this story interests you, please subscribe to receive more articles on Arts awareness, Autism Awareness and Artists with Autism.



Bookfest features author with autism

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 10:30 PM

The Children’s Book Fest was held in Broward County at the North Regional/Broward College Library in Coconut Creek. This free two day event was preceded by the 27th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and the 12th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series. The Friday conference included lectures from award winning authors and afternoon breakout sessions included Nancy Lieberman, Director, Baudhuin Preschool, Mailman Segal Center for Human Development at Nova Southeastern University and a workshop: “Designing Library-Based Storytime and Activity Experiences for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” presented by Anne Leon, Executive Director, Public Library Services Alvin Sherman Library, Meagan Albright, Youth Services Librarian, Alvin Sherman Library. Among the book signings were local authors Timothy Leistner, artist/author of The House Where Happiness Lived, and self-published authors representing ArtistsWithAutism,Inc. was Brandon Drucker, author of The Diary of an Autistic Kid, Michael Vidal, illustrator of Success Express, the most amazing trip of your life, and Marc Pulver, author of Living Life with Autism, The world through my eyes. The Children’s Book Fest celebrates Children’s Day / book Day, held nationally each year in April and emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for every child in a community.


Inclusion in the Arts, A Family Affair

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 10:20 PM

A small group of artists with autism recently had an opening reception alongside local professional and emerging artists at the Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts in Plantation Florida on December 15. Members from the nonprofit networking group; Artists With Autism ,Inc have approximately fifty pieces of artwork on display. One of the founding members, Andres Pola who was diagnosed with autism at a young age, was proud to have his exhibit shared with his talented mother, Alima Newton, artist and an art teacher in the public schools, as well as his twin sister. The family affair art exhibit was a first for the family as they all support the efforts of the art group Andres helped form almost three years ago. As members of Artists With Autism, Inc, Andres and the other members have exhibited in several Broward and Palm Beach County galleries and events, sometimes as a solo group, and sometimes alongside local professional artists. The “Inclusion in the Arts” program which is offered to the members of Artists With Autism, Inc. gives these artists the recognition they deserve as truly emerging, talented artists and allows them the opportunity to display and discuss their art with other artists, and art enthusiasts. Their art is also made available for purchase from a virtual gallery. The “Inclusion in the Arts- The Exhibit” runs until January 24, 2013.

After High School, Then What?

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 9:50 PM

What happens when your autistic child finally ages out of the public school system? Brandon has been relentless applying for jobs for the past several years. He has applied at all the places that he interned at while in the Community –Based Instruction program in high school. But, now those same establishments either do not, or will not, hire him as a regular employee. Upon finishing his last year at high school at age 22, he was extremely fortunate to be one of 67 students chosen to participate in the brand new pilot program offered by the Marino Foundation. The Marino Campus offers a post-secondary education for students with autism.

 The South Florida autism community has had the benefit of having this organization in their backyard raising awareness and funds for autism. The Founder, Dan Marino is known as one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history and has an adult son with autism.

 Brandon was enrolled in the Entrepreneur Program at The Marino Campus. The program was demanding and required a college level of maturity and a business mentality. These requirements were neither easily met, nor understood at Brandon’s comprehension level. I was made aware of his limitations, and was made to realize, that as much as he continues to progress every day, he still needs a different way of teaching in order for him to learn. He completed the program. It was a phenomenal life experience. It was also a reality check for me. He cannot be expected to learn in a typical learning environment.

I am proud of his accomplishments, and he is learning that with each new achievement, will bring him closer to his many personal dreams and goals. He completed the Marino Campus receiving a certificate in Entrepreneurship and recognition for “Most Original"

Sincerity Project 2012 at Studio18

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Opening Reception at the Studio 18 in the Pines was a huge exciting event for the members of AWA. Several members had their art piece sold on opening night. It meant so much for the artists to mingle with the artists of Studio18 who they interpreted their works for. Hope to see all our friends and family at the Salon day on July 6, 7-9pm to meet the artists for a Q and A.