Several of Make Studio’s 20 artists identify as persons with autism, autistic, and/or living “on the spectrum”. Every day, their actions, words, and images help “neurotypical” individuals to better understand and celebrate their points-of-view. (And these artists are often commendably patient while doing so!)
Make Studio capped off its celebration of National Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month on April 26 at the 5th annual Honestly Autism Day, hosted by the Autism Society of Baltimore – Chesapeake in partnership with Baltimore County Public Schools and Towson University. The all-day event featured key-note speakers, breakout sessions on a variety of autism-related topics, a panel of teens on the spectrum, and over 30 organizations sharing information and resources.
The Autism Society also hosted the Express Yourself Contest – Celebrating Differences 2014, a contest that awarded cash prizes and publication in the ASBC newsletter in six different categories. Make Studio’s very own Zach Manuel won in the Individuals with Autism category. His insightful and honest comic My Name is Zach Manuel, a hand-drawn digital print with colored pencil, describes the personal trials and tribulations Zach encounters in his daily life.
Zach accepted his award in person at Honestly Autism Day, giving a speech in front of large crowd for the Express Yourself contest winner presentation. You can see his acceptance speech below!
Make Studio artists also made a short video, in which artists spoke about their artwork and what it means to them to be on the spectrum. The video was screened continuously at Honestly Autism Day for all to see. Take a look and let the artists know what you think!