Art Show will be on Exhibit April 1-30 in USG’s Priddy Library; Opening Reception Honoring Artists Set for April 3 at 6:30 p.m.
The Madison House Autism Foundation and The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) are teaming up to help bring awareness to the unique talents and characteristics of artists with autism, with a special, month-long art exhibition featuring the works of dozens of artists who are on the autism spectrum. Entitled “Through Our Eyes,” the art show will be on exhibit in USG’s Priddy Library throughout the month of April. Madison House and USG will host a special reception on Thursday, April 3, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Camille Kendall Academic Center, on the USG campus at 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.
Named in honor of their now 24-year-old son, Madison, who is autistic, Madison House Autism Foundation was founded in 2008 by Dr. Gregory and JaLynn Prince of Potomac, Maryland. The organization is dedicated to creating awareness of the lifespan challenges adults with autism and their families face. Also, finding, developing, and promoting the solutions that allow adults with autism to make choices, live as independently as possible, hold jobs, feel connected to their communities, and become participating members of society.
Through their own experience with their son, Madison, the Princes learned well how there are many services available to children with autism while they are still in school, but not after they become adults. “Every 11 minutes a child is born who will be diagnosed with autism,” notes President and Founder JaLynn Prince, in explaining why she and her husband created Madison House. “These children will likely live an average lifespan of 80 years, the same as any other adult in the U.S.” She adds that in the coming decade, an estimated 500,000 of these young, autistic adults will turn 21 – “the age at which federally mandated services stop being provided.”
“The ‘Through Our Eyes’ art exhibition – and the larger matter of increasing awareness about the many broader, societal issues surrounding adults with autism – inspired students at The Universities at Shady Grove to make the issue one of their key “civic engagement” topics for the year.
More than 20 artists will have their work showcased in the upcoming exhibition, including many who reside in the Washington metropolitan area. Local artists from Arts Enable, St. John’s Community Services-DC and St. Coletta of Greater Washington plan to submit works. Other artists participating include award-winning Trent Altman, an abstract expressionistic artist and Esther Brockaw who has been compared to Van Gogh, Monet and Cassatt. Painter Dashir Johnson states, “I am an artist who happens to be in the autistic spectrum. My artwork depicts the beauty I see in everyone. I represent those with ‘differences’ and my hope is the world sees the same beauty and finds acceptance through my eyes.”
Among the organizations or individuals helping to sponsor the “Through Our Eyes” art exhibition are: PNC Bank, Comcast, and Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care.
Madison House, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is continuing to seek additional donors to sponsor an artist or to contribute to the cost of the exhibition. For more information about sponsorship opportunities or the April exhibition, or to make a secure donation to the Madison House Autism Foundation, please visit www.madisonhouseautism.org or call 301-850-9020.