“Artistic. Autistic. A Life Ahead.”: Internationally Acclaimed Photographer to Exhibit in Show and Create Work During Opening Reception
Internationally acclaimed photographer Christopher M. Gauthiér will bring several of his dramatic photographic works to Montgomery County as part of the “Artistic. Autistic. A Life Ahead.” exhibit sponsored by Madison House Autism Foundation and Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. The exhibit, which opens March 29 and runs through June 1 on the JHU Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, offers a unique window into the world of autism experienced by adults on the autism spectrum and those affected by it.
Gauthiér’s works are part of his Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism project, which documents the growing number of individuals, families, teachers, therapists, advocates, doctors and researchers on the front lines fighting the debilitating characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. According to Gauthiér, “Facing Autism is both a call to action, and a way to honor those who are rising to the challenge autism presents everyday.”
Gauthiér will set up a mini “studio” at the reception on March 29 during which he will continue work on his Facing Autism project by taking pictures of reception attendees who would like to be included in his project.
Autism Spectrum Disorders, which can be accompanied by both exceptional talents and severe impairments, are complex intellectual and developmental disorders involving social and communications difficulties. Through the exhibit, Madison House Autism Foundation seeks to offer individuals on the spectrum an opportunity to share their artistic expressions and raise awareness in the broader community of the challenges, unique talents, and sometimes, overwhelming barriers adults with autism face in trying to survive in a world that doesn’t fully understand or accommodate them.
According to JaLynn Prince, founder of Madison House Autism Foundation, 500,000 individuals with autism will turn 21 this decade, facing 60 years or more with little hope for housing, employment, continuing education, or social support outside of the family. Prince, who was named as a National Mother of the Year in 1999 and who has a 22-year old son on the spectrum, created the Foundation to provide guidance, hope, and support for adults with autism and their families.
Artists will be present at the opening night reception on Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. RSVP to attend the reception.
The exhibit will be on display at Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County, 9605 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. For more information, call 301-330-8532.