About two months ago I saw a call for artists with disabilities. An organization called The Whole Person is putting on an art show and needed artisits.
I really struggled with "should I apply" or "should I not." In addition to the usual self doubts about the quality of my art I had to really think about if it would be acceptable to use my "disability" to be included in a show.
To me, I am just me. I do not consider myself suffering from a disability. The truth is, I do struggle at times, but everyone struggles. I am no different. So, why would I apply for a show for people with disabilities if I do not consider myself disabled?
The answer is very simple. When I was young, autism did not exist. I was told by people I was cold hearted, aloof, crazy, psychotic all kinds of lables that did not fit. When I was 29 and recieved my diagnosis, the world made sense. All of the negative lables that had been thrown at me disapeared. I could dismiss every hurtful name as an inability on behalf of the speaker to relate.
It did not take long to realize that my postitive view of autism was not universal. I see so many parents devastated that their children have Aspergers.
I use my art as a bridge between myself and other people. If there is a chance for my art and sucess as an artist to show someone that autism does not mean a person is doomed to fail, then it is worth it.
So, May 2nd I will be featured in a gallery show. I will be extremely busy preparing art for this show but I am excited to be apart of showing invisable disabilities in a positive light.
Here is the link to the show.
I have to get back to creating. I have precious little time to pull this off.