ABOUT 3 ARTISTS
3 artists is an annual exhibition featuring the work of professional and emerging autistic artists. This exhibition, founded in 2012 and now in its sixth year, is a longtime collaboration between Dr. Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, a teacher educator and researcher, and Professor Vivian Poey. The concept for the exhibit was developed using a strength-based view of autism and an emphasis on the arts for access to curriculum, community and communication. Volunteers help to plan and execute the annual show, develop related curricula, and help to support artists’ self-identified goals.
Dr. Keefe, who was a key architect of the Massachusetts autism teacher endorsement, uses the art exhibition to prepare educators to teach autistic students by modeling three tenets: self-advocacy, social justice, and democratic education. Teachers are prepared in ways which ensure that autistic students' voices are heard in all educational processes. The exhibition emphasizes neurodiversity, and volunteers have a range of opportunities during the program including experiences at community partner sites, interacting with self-advocate experts, and participating in the annual autism symposium and art exhibit.
The mission of the art show is to highlight the strength, genius, and creativity of autism. We hope to help shift negative perceptions about autism by celebrating neurodiversity. In keeping with the mission of the exhibit and the gallery, we do not collect commission; 100% of proceeds from art sales go directly to the artists. The show has featured a number of critically acclaimed autistic artists, including Jessy Park, Temple Grandin, John Williams, Vito Bonnano, and Kimberley Gerry Tucker. These artists, mostly self-taught, and their complex work, contribute significantly to new understandings of the creativity, uniqueness and potential of autistic persons.
3 artists is a 100% volunteer initiative that has relied on the generosity and support of many people, including Professor Vivian Poey; alumnus Liam Rutter Stokes; our volunteers, and our community partners and donors.