I am so pleased to announce that the AutismHWY.com / Chalk Festivaland myself, will be coloring perceptions regarding Autism, at this amazing international gathering! I am so honored and excited to be returning to the Naturally Autistic People Awards in Vancouver Canada this fall as a …NOMINEE! My trip in 2011 as a sponsor partner was so inspiring and life changing. It will be fantastic to be back in this expansive vortex of complete acceptance and connection for AUTISTIC PEOPLE AND THEIR SUPPORTERS! I am thrilled and so proud to be conducting an interactive Chalk Art Workshop. A workshop about this fantastic, OLD & NEW artistic medium as a part of this year’s spectacular global event. WOW!
Chalk and Street Art really do bring people back to their ancestrial roots. Our uniquely human instinctual need …to self express through creativity. Heiroglyphics in the 21st century if you will. The experience will be exhilarating. I guarantee. As an artist working in the streets, sign painting I learned the power of colorful imagery inserted into everyday life, at a very young age. I see how imagery markets everything to the world. I have since come to use this skill while engaging with the general public in realistic conversations about Autism. A very grounded way to connect on very deep levels!
It has been such a fantastic experience engaging with random people seemingly ‘not involved with Autism’ and learning through further discussion… that the majority in fact are. We are indeed all connected, heARTfully.
At this years ANCA World Autism Festival I will share the story of how we built the AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival. How we came to a partnership with my fabulous hometown of Covina California. How everyone can experience the joys that ‘Street Art’ brings to people participating and spectating, something great for every community. We will see how the process emerges. I will share instruction, pointers and tips, showing the work from our past events and some of my special Autism chalkings from other festivals.
Participants of the workshop will have the chance to chalk designs on square paper adhered to the table (simulating the chalk square model.) We will have imagery to prompt ART or encourage participants to work from their hearts and see what unexpected messages emerge!
We will also be doing an inclusive rainbow color smudging which will activate us experientially. The weaving of the color scheme signifies that we all are made up of many characteristics that shift and blend throughout a lifetime! Using your fingers to literally blur your lines is a powerful feeling! It catapults us into the realization that we are all merging our similarities and/or our differing ‘ways of being’…into a NEW and more accepting way for the future.
A colorful, diverse and more intuitive way of communicating who we are. I am looking forward to authentically meeting and seeing you ALL this fall!
Happy Anniversary to US! We have all been “Chalking it UP” together for five years now. Connecting here in Southern California or from across the globe virtually.
BRAVO to each and every one of you that have joined in or cheered us on helping our fantastic and colorful movement along. It has been so much fun meeting and feeling the love, creativity and inspiration you all bring to the AutismHWY! In real life and VIRTUALLY! It is sweet fun to feel that solidarity across the miles, across the oceans. Chalking for the love of fun, for the love of Autism free expression and ultimately for the expectation of full-on respect and acceptance. Respect for what Autistic people do bring to the table of humanity in each and every way. No need to cure, stigmatize or fear. Only the need to respect the real mind/body differences, committing to understanding those fully, reaching out to support the individual manifestations of each other’s unique comfort’s and keys for success. Learn to learn. From each other. When to slow down and when to speed up. We need to align our momentums.
TRULY Amazing how Bj Lane has aligned her momentus talent to honor Dr. Temple Grandin for the 2015 AutismHWY.com Chalk Art Festival’s 5th year Anniversary!!
Step by step Bj Lane Chalked where she stood and shared it with us all virtually! For all time. Thank you Bj~Until next time…
Another incredible, indelible year connecting ACCEPTANCE to the heARTS and minds of all that show up for our annual chalk party. Each year the momentum feels reinforced, more powerful. The labor of colorful love that has been the AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival has transformed itself year after year. It’s as if our platform was being built in the early year stages. Sponsors, Artists and friends joining together to spread out a foundation for this loving pragmatic platform. A foundation on which to build and connect Autism Acceptance skyscrapers. Autistic people and their loved ones working together to infrastructure positive life force resonation to the community. Real people, real Autism, real Acceptance, real FUN. Amplifying the Autistic voice and connecting to their experience in order for everyone to innerstand Autism.
Can you imagine anything more divine?
Our Artist’s can. Just have a look….
WOW, I SEE A SKY-SCRAPER! Pro chalker~Randall Williams knows what we are doing!
Rissa P putting down her POWER!
SUPER HEROES TOUCHING GROUND all day! This winner by Stacy Nalapraya.
AUTISTIC SELF ADVOCACY NETWORK logo chalked by Daniel Obejas!
Last Year’s B.O.S. Winner Lesley Perdomo…recruits her nephew James and sister Ana as “Team Perdomo” to honor Artist Daniela Jaime with a rendition of Daniela’s pony design!! SO COOL LESLEY!
GUS MORAN’S AWARD WINNING STYLE!
100% CORRECT! Chalked by Daniel Obejas of ASAN
ANDY DREISEWERD UNITES with US!
RISSA P’s AWARD WINNING MASTERPIECE!
CARING MATTERS what an awesome message!
ASAN’s Daniel Obejas recites his powerful poem: Points in Space.
SO VERY TRUE!
SO HAPPY ANGELO GUZMAN BROUGHT HIS DRAGON GAME!
BEST OF SHOW by professional chalker MOE NOTSU.
THE LONARDI FAMILY MASTERPIECE!
ARTIST’S FAVORITE by ADRIANA SALGADO
DANIELA JAIME’S super fab ponysona’s of some hela rad Autistic gals !
5th yr. participant! KING Jeremy of J.J. Jewelry
Building this Acceptance platform has been so much easier than we ever imagined it would be. The collaboration of generous souls that have given their time and energy to support our efforts throughout the years have become the concrete that empower us. Empower and facilitate us as we gel together with this ascending movement. Adding the City of Covina’s embracement to all of that and we have truly built a warm, loving and comfortable day to share in UNITY for all Autistic people and those who truly respect them. A sunny So Cal. day full of FUN, equality, appreciation and the freedom to be Autistic. Quite powerful.
It feels like a new day is near, a day where we can all consult our Autistic friends when we need to know how best we can make the population more comfortable and successful. A day when all of society will know that Autism is a normal part of humanity and that Autistic people are highly valued members. We are ALL differently, equally human.
Subsets of normal swimming with heart in a very colorful and wonderfully diverse ocean of normalcy.
Last weekend we took the Ventura Hwy toward the sunshine!! The Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival was happening at their beautiful Harbor and I was a featured artist!! WOW. I am an Artist yet, have always been shy about “labeling” myself as one. My own labeling issue in a way.
My brother Kevin and my son Wyatt climbed into our road van (which also serves as our back-up hotel & event: chill zone.) Wyatt does enjoy traveling up and down the California coast and we’ve done it successfully pretty much every year of his life. Wyatt doesn’t truly enjoy Art and needs a soft spot to land while I attend to my artistic callings, so the van is essential. Chalk and street art has become a fun hobby of mine over the last 10 years and as everyone knows is now a huge part of AutismHWY.com’s mission!! To celebrate our differences and to learn through our similarities artfully. Next year’s5th AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival will be April 18th 2015. Chalk Art truly is infectioustake a look!
The mission has been to encourage understanding through Information, Acceptance and Art. When I have the time to street paint myself, I create Autism Acceptance designs or I re-create designs crafted by Artists on the Spectrum. This trip I had chosen an exquisite design by Artist Nora Blansett.Nora’s work is also featured in the Art of AutismbookI love so dearly. I really loved her explaination of the beautiful design I set out to share in Ventura and we printed this flyer to share with interested Art Festival attendees!
Saturday we arrived early afternoon and I began to set up the piece…Wyatt decided he was not interested in sitting and watching the process, so my brother and he went for a nice stroll and some lunch. Later to return to the “chill zone” of the Van. Being in Ventura on this weekend was a blessing as we were in a record breaking heat wave at home (90 miles away) coming in at 30 degrees hotter than the warm high 70′s at the harbor. After 4 hrs. of chalking I was ready to pack it up for the day making my way to the “chill-van.” My brother called me with a 911 voice and I could hear that the zone was no longer chill. As I weaved my way back, packing all of my supplies and etc. I realized that our Van was the focus of many people. Surrounded by the fire department the paramedics, patrol cars and major looky loos. Wyatt’s discomfort and self injurious aggressive communication had been in full force. People were either mad at my brother and didn’t know what was happening or just hovering as if they were at a crime scene waiting for answers. I wonder just how many cell phones called us in and what exactly they reported was happening? This shows me just how little is known about my son’s condition and how we need to have an open dialogue about the way some Autistic people experience and cope with debilitating pain, anger and frustration. Within a few minutes of my arrival and conversation with “Ventura’s finest emergency services” Wyatt de-escalated and everyone moved along. We checked into our wonderful hotel room and walked to a fantastic patio dinner. Wyatt had a restful night and awoke in a general good mood. We went back to the “scene of the crime” for day two of the Art event. Wyatt had a moment or two of hanging out with me before he again decided he wasn’t up for completion of the piece.So once again my ‘right hand uncle’ and Wyatt moved their chairs over to a shady berm at the edge of the harbor parking area. Another picnic lunch and “day at the beach” right? No, not exactly. After a little while I heard my boy and his painful scream. So I darted over to him quickly and began supporting him calmly. He was escalating rapidly and when he is past a certain point you can only move forward with it. The harbor patrol rolled up and stayed near by hesitantly as I explained to Wyatt I was there for him and supported him through his hard-core pain management. What I do not do is downplay his pain by telling him to get over it. I honor it calmly with firmness and resolve while keeping us both safe. If bruises happen, they happen. Again people just don’t know what to do…some stare, some glare. Some offer tokens or candy thinking this will distract Wyatt from his pain. Ahhh if it were only that simple. Truth be told stickers and mints aren’t his thing on a great day!
I do appreciate people’s heartfelt concern. The concern I can live without is tainted with judgement, fear and worse. When someone is raising their red-flags as my son will do, ask if you can call anyone for help, offer some cool water and allow the person space. Please do not judge and/ or insert yourself as if you are a CSI on the crime scene. Involving yourself uninvited will only inflame the situation. Understand that Autistic people can feel intense, sharp pain…physically and emotionally that can and will trigger, loudly. Self injurious actions will help the person to cope with that pain and trying to restrain and stop this; is dangerous. It is a fact of life for many Autistics and their families. Finding the things that work to alleviate pain and frustration is the name of the game. Keeping a person feeling emotionally understood and safe is essential. Finding sensory comfort combinations will help relieve stress. If you feel frustrated just imagine how the aggressive communicator feels. Common sense strategies work miracles. Don’t sign your common sense over when it comes to Autism and aggression. Reach out to those that feel this pain, and have to cope in particular ways that you do not understand. Ask questions, pay close attention and learn what is going on before you snap in judgement or snap and commit an irreversible action.
The Harbor Patrol man named Hummer was very kind to Wyatt and I. Perhaps, Wyatt’s out loud expressions the day before had softened everyone’s edge. He admitted he had never seen anything like it and stood calm and clear as once again Wyatt de-escalated with NO VEIL. My brother brought the Van over to that shady berm and we were allowed access to park in the fire zone while Wyatt relaxed and I returned to hurriedly finished Nora’s amazing VEIL!
We can all start understanding, accepting and loving each other WITH all of our differences.
Allow people to be who they are behind a veil or loudly with out one.
Embrace the knowledge that we are all loving and sensitive souls just trying to navigate the waters in this age of excess.