Thursday, May 22, 2008

Puzzles for kids on the spectrum

Free Printable Jigsaw Puzzles
by Jamie Sue Austin

Here are some additional resources for people looking for printable jigsaw puzzles. I created a few puzzles using Photoshop. Nothing fancy-- just generic kitten, puppy, pony, and landscape puzzles. Of course if anyone needs a specific printable jigsaw puzzle I'm glad to take a crack at it.

Download Printable Jigsaw Puzzles
from Jamie Sue Austin : freeprintablefun

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Autism One Art Festival in Chicago

The second annual Autism One Arts Festival in Chicago is running in conjunction with the conference Friday May 23rd to Sunday May 25th. The Art Festival is proud to present a wide variety of artists from painting to the performing arts. Its about life and passion and joy and celebrating the unique gifts our children bring to the world. I will have posters from my Autism Series for sale, titled I just want you to say mommy one time.

The festival also includes classes in music, acting and painting. Art can be the bridge to connect our children to the world. The Festival is free and open to the public. Here are also links to the various other artists showing and selling work. If you are in Chicago don't miss the event!

Trent Altman
Kaitren Beechey
Mark Rimland
Carly Hatton
Josh Peddle

A gallery that brings the work of a lot of different artists: Art on Main Gallery

Jax Chachitz

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peek in on the progress of an artist working with special needs kids

I am thrilled to share the work created by 3 incredible kids working with one very talented artist, Joanna Whitney. Joanna is new to the challenges of kids with special needs. But she has been able to make a valuable connection and tap into the creative energy of these incredible children.

I think it is wonderful that she is objective when dealing with the various disabilities, ASD, Autism, Aspergers Syndrome and Mental Health Issues. Sometimes as a parent or therapist, when you know only one way of interacting it really limits your creativity. My philosophy is to have a broad perspective of the traits of the disability, be educated about the dynamics of the disability. Watch, listen, learn from those surrounding the child, there are obvious successful methods to get the kids to interact, we all know them via the countless therapies. Exposing kids to art and an artist forces the artist/teacher to be exposed to the dynamic of the disability and try to think about how to inspire and communicate artistically. The communication is what is tapped into and flows via body language and expression. I find my son, watches me when I paint with him, he really is incredibly observant about the nuances of what I do as an artist. As an artist/teacher it is important to always remember it is about the experience of creating, not about what the final product looks like. As adults, we tend to get too involved in the final outcome and the "rules". Creating art should be just about creating art and does not have to be about talking, being verbal, body language is a valuable tool for communicating your wants, needs and desires. Whatever way that needs to be expressed.
It is wonderful to see some of the works created so far by the children working with Joanna Whitney. The spontaneous ideas that are overflowing. Exciting! Please visit her ongoing journal of progress, she has some fabulous ideas and genuinely wishes to inspire others out there. I am looking forward to seeing more. Will keep you all posted.

Jax Chachitz