The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) recently held a reception for students who participate in the Arts4All Program offered there. Several clients who attend the adult program at the Morgan Autism Center (MAC) enjoy the experience of being creative.
Of course, the reason I am writing this is because Kolya is one of the fortunate clients who is able to attend classes at CSMA.
The clients are transported in a school van or in staff cars from MAC to CSMA weekly. During this last session the artists were introduced to sculpting with clay. Each client made one clay project.
Kolya shaped his clay by using various tools in his mouth.
The hair was pushed through a garlic press. Then, he placed it on his sculpture.
He painted and fired his work.
The teachers exposed the students to new skills and styles. Kolya responded to the art teacher well. Meeting and connecting with new people can be challenging for Kolya because of his autism. Kolya’s assistant tells me he was more than willing to try new things and followed instructions carefully. I was pleased to learn this because more times than not, he has an idea in his head and it’s difficult to steer him to different activities. The staff at CSMA are very skilled, kind, and respectful of all students.
Most of the paintings being displayed were done in acrylic but Kolya was exposed to watercolors as well.
He would draw his outline with pencil and then paint with watercolors.
These two paintings were done for the Starry, Starry Night fundraiser for MAC. The monarch painting was sold at the auction for an incredible amount. These paintings show much growth in Kolya’s artwork. He has expanded from previous focus on bridges and buildings to things in nature and use of bright colors.
All clients received a certificate at the reception.
Kolya listened intently as the staff gave a presentation for the guests.
Kolya and Renee made silly faces because Kolya was tired of “smiling” for my camera.
Before the students returned to MAC, Kolya was able to socialize with his friend Jonathan. When they were younger, they rode the same bus and I’m happy Jonathan was already a client in the adult program to make the transition smoother for Kolya.
Thank you to all the staff at CSMA who welcome the clients from MAC and other programs that serve individuals with special needs. I’m so happy you are there to help expand my son’s art skills and I know Kolya looks forward to Monday mornings because he goes to CSMA.
(Some photos and information provided by Renee, Kolya’s MAC support staff.)
Kolya working on his butterfly drawing can be viewed at Akashic Books article “Spotlight on Artists on the Autism Spectrum.“