In observance of Autism Awareness Month, Project Onward presents a group show of paintings and works on paper created by autistic artists. Among the mysterious features of Autism Spectrum Disorder are “islets of ability”: peculiar talents or “savant” skills that, for some with the disorder, exist alongside the more debilitating features of their condition. These skills can include perfect pitch, photographic memory, aptitude for solving complex mathematical problems, and artistic ability.
Islands in the Stream examines the complexity and diversity of autism’s effect on visual artists with the disorder– its unexpected joys, its heartbreaking sorrows, and its sources of hope.
Featured in the exhibition are works by Project Onward artists Larry Chestnut, Louis DeMarco, Adam Hines, David Holt, Blake Lenoir, Molly McGrath, Michael Smith, Ryan Tepich, and George Zuniga.
Located in the Chicago Cultural Center, Project Onward is the Department of Cultural Affairs' studio program for artists with special needs. The program supplies studio space, art supplies, and professional guidance to over 30 adult artists living with mental and developmental disabilities.