Grain Bins by Jane Strauss

Grain Bins by Jane Strauss

After months of planning, soliciting art, working out logistics with Griffin Gallery personnel, the art exhibit and sale, Diamonds in the Rough, is shaping up nicely for its October 11 launch. We’ve received an array of art from jewelry to ceramics to paintings to photography. There really will be something for everyone.

Now, this event could be seen as merely a fundraiser; however, it’s more than that. It’s advocacy. Some pretty talented artists on the autism spectrum have provided art for this event. Our own TJ Jameson, Erik’s Minnesota Adventures tour guide and artist extraordinaire, will be one of the featured artists. Candy Waters, a spectrum artist from Illinois, submitted art prints that we’ll exhibit and sell. Georgina Robertson, a United Kingdom spectrum artist is also part of the show. The list goes on.

Established and emerging artists not on the spectrum, such as relief sculptor Bill Mack, ceramics artist Stephanie Evans and photographer Jeff Hawe, have donated works, as well. This is an event you really don’t want to miss.

You see, the vital aspect of this event is introducing the vast array of talents and abilities that individuals on the autism spectrum possess. At Erik’s Ranch & Retreats, we’ve built programs around what adults with autism can do, focusing on their talents. Society in general is not really working at including adults with autism from that perspective. It’s easier to try to fit all people into molds that we are comfortable with, but in the instance of autism, that doesn’t seem to work too well.

Dress Boxes by Stephanie Evans

Dress Boxes by Stephanie Evans

We need to change the paradigm, and one way to do that is to make society aware of the value of the skills and abilities that individuals with autism possess. Now one art event probably won’t change the misperceptions of autism overnight. But by helping people change their perspective through events such as Diamonds in the Rough is a start.

But, don’t take my word for it. Join us. You can purchase tickets online, and if you can’t attend in person, give the tickets to friends. It’s just one more way to advocate for individuals with autism.

Robin Hood's Nottinghamshire, by Georgina Roberts

Robin Hood’s Nottinghamshire, by Georgina Roberts