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meet the artists!
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anita arguello, Painter

anita arguello is a neurodivergent, abstract painter. As a self-taught artist, she's unconventional in her use of tools and methods of slapping, splashing, and dripping paint onto canvas. Her work is textured, layered, and emotional to create a bold statement. Each piece challenges the customary views on art with a distinct and recognizable style true to her creative process. She creates from a place without rules and hopes to stimulate thought, while evoking emotions to inspire others to find their creative voice. The majority of her work has been featured in exhibits promoting and advocating for autistic people, including the PCAA Gala Art Fundraiser, Evolve’s Evening of Arts for Autism, and Roadkill Gallery's collaboration with Evolve and adrift arguello SEE US Neurodivergent Exhibit.

For inquires or purchases, email


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Janette Barbosa, Fiber Artist

Pittsburgh-based artist Janette Barbosa was born and raised in National City, CA and is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. She attributes her hard work ethic, color choices, and love for diversity to her strong cultural roots. She continuously references her background and experiences as having shaped her art and worldview.


She founded Cecil St. Knots after discovering her passion for handmade fiber art. She specializes in contemporary Macramé and Macraweaves, and she also has a passion for knitting. Deeply inspired by abstract artists, such as Piet Mondrian and rope artist Windy Chien, Janette uses different colored rope, yarn, and knots to develop an original and unique style of fiber art wall hangings.


Janette received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was first introduced to fiber art by her husband in 2018 as he suggested knitting to help with her anxiety. In December of 2020, while in an episode of deep depression, Macramé provided an outlet that gave her a newfound purpose. Janette truly healed through the world of fiber art. She is looking forward to continuing to develop her technique and working with her local, national, and international fiber art community.


Brad Bianchi, Sculptor

Through reuse art, Brad shows that a single object is not limited to one intended use. He enjoys imagining the journey of every battered and rusted piece he uses in his work. From an early age, Brad's parents would find interesting and useful materials from estate sales and job site dumpsters, a practice of reuse that he has carried on into his professional career. Focusing is very difficult for Brad, so he is always working on multiple projects at a time!


Morgan Boyer, Writer

Morgan Boyer is the author of The Serotonin Cradle (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Boyer is a bisexual with high-functioning Autism.


Dylan Butler, Illustrator and Painter

Dylan's artwork is intended to be literal. He encourages his audience to experience the world as he sees it. Dylan uses color to draw attention to the people and objects that are the subjects in his work.

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Chas Chasler, Illustrator

Chas is an illustration artist and currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Animation from Damean University. His artwork is inspired by artists such as Bruce Timm, Jack Kirby, and Eric W. Schwartz. Media sources such as Disney, Marvel, and 20s-90s cartoons have shaped his love for art, animation, cartooning, and character design.


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Kareyonna Davidson, Photographer and Painter

Kareyonna Davidson resides in Beaver County, PA and currently is a sophomore at the University of Phoenix-Pennsylvania studying Media Communications.. Kareyonna is a graduate of PA Cyber and the Beaver County Career & Technology Center where she received multiple Certifications in Business with additional studies in Graphic Arts and Printing. She first fell in love with photography at a young age and has always wanted to be a photographer ever since. Kareyonna's dream is to grow her skills as a photographer and hopes to one day have her own business to educate other aspiring photographers.


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Kirkland Glover, Digital Artist and Cartoonist

Kirkland Glover is an inspiring cartoonist with a passion for art. From the time he could hold a pen, he has been expressing himself through his drawings.

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Emily Gray Hook, Multimedia Artist

Emily Gray Hook is a multimedia artist born in Pittsburgh, PA and is currently studying Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. She enjoys combining elements of both traditional and digital mediums to create mixed media pieces that represent her experiences navigating the world as a young female on the autism spectrum. The artwork, Disconnected, explores Emily's experience with feeling detached from her body, often causing her to feel as if she is watching over herself, rather than experiencing the day as it passes by. Through using a combination of materials and intuitive processes, Disconnected serves as a physical manifestation of how the creative process can ground an individual, leading the mind and body to work simultaneously. Emily's work can be seen through her website, Instagram, and on Behance.


Onyx Green, Mixed Media Artist

Onyx Green is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and organizer based in Pittsburgh, PA. They like to explore any and all mediums, but their current focus is video game development. Onyx regularly facilitates art programs for people of all ages around the city. They aim to teach people how to use artmaking as a means of community building, social justice, and wellness.  


JulieAnn Heaton, Digital Artist and Photographer

JA Heaton is an illustrator and photographer based in Colorado. A self-taught artist, her favorite mediums include graphite, pen and ink, and colored pencil, though she also enjoys drawing digitally and photo editing. She gravitates towards nature and finds animals and plants to be fascinating subjects with endless inspiration. Feeling that the world moves too quickly to facilitate a grounded and peaceful life, her art allows her to slow down and focus on the things that are truly important to her.


AK Kurtz, Digital Drawing Artist

AK Kurtz is a Michigan-born artist living in Pittsburgh who has a very dedicated daily drawing practice. They indulge in self-portraiture as a way of coming to terms with body image in the context of chronic pain and disability, and love any opportunity to play with new, unexpected art materials. Recently after years of skepticism, their mind exploded with the ways that digital drawing can offer freedom to experiment and endlessly replicate images without fear of mess or permanence.

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Eli Kurs-Lasky, Photographer and Essayist

Eli Kurs-Lasky, an autistic and artistic young adult, is an emerging photographer who was born, raised, and continues to live in the City of Champions (Pittsburgh, PA). Though he spent much of his formal education studying creative writing, he has since shifted his focus, devoting much of the past few years to learning and studying photography. Eli's fascination with, and immersion in, creative spaces comes from a desire to understand and connect to the world within him and around him. No longer just a hobby, photography is vital for Eli to process, recharge from overstimulation, and take time for himself. When not working on his photography, Eli still enjoys writing and has had three of his essays published since 2019. He is also a diehard fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  

Pittsburghers cling to history. Is my own worth determined by a ‘pre-autistic’ past? published by PublicSource October 2021

What the coronavirus pandemic has meant for me as an Autistic person published by PublicSource March 2020

Ableism at the dinner table: How I learned to ignore glares and let my arms ‘dance’ published by PublicSource January 2019


Photo credit: Lake Lewis, 2021

Rachel Liang, Photographer

Rachel Liang is a 23-year-old photographer living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 2017, she has been working with a camera while focusing on taking portraits, family photos, nature scenes, and photographing celebrations. Rachel finds fulfillment in capturing moments that her clients will love.

To book a photo session, contact Rachel at


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Joshua Merritt, Painter

Joshua is a 21-year-old on the autism spectrum. He paints daily with acrylics on canvas in an abstract and/or non-objective style. He paints in grayscale as well as with bright colors. Josh is inspired by the physical sensation of paint and brush on canvas, as well as the process of expressing himself with color and shape. His artwork has been exhibited at Atithi Studios in Sharpsburg, PA.

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Sam Pejack, Digital Artist

Sam Pejack is a senior at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and is in the second year of the multi-media program at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center. Currently focusing on digitally generated art, he also uses traditional media to create works that are both realistic and fanciful.


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Robert Roma, Photographer

Robert Roma is an Autistic Artist, Photographer, and filmmaker who has been practicing his crafts for 30+ years. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cumbria College of Art, attended Glasgow School of Art, and has an MA in Film and Photography from the University of Derby School of Arts. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. He is inspired by living in a strange world, and he creates art to make windows. His process is cerebral and saturated with humor. More of Robert’s work can be found on Instagram, TikTok, and elsewhere online. Contact Bobby directly for art and photography commissions, art portraiture, and information about other artwork at



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Rachel Sikes, Art Conservator & Painter

Originally from California, Rachel Sikes resides and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She received a BA in Studio Art from the University of California in Riverside, California in 2011. She also achieved a BA in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware in 2021. During her time in Delaware, Rachel engaged in a series of enriching internships, spanning the realms of ceramic, painting, paper, and national history ethnographic objects.


Additionally, Rachel is a versatile artist who navigates the realms of two-dimensional expression with a primary focus on painting and drawing. However, occasionally she ventures into sculpting. Rachel employs a distinctive artistic language, weaving imagery, symbolism, and juxtaposition to unravel deeper meanings and convey thought-provoking messages.


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Joe Smith, Photographer

Joseph Smith is a visual artist and storyteller that tells his story through photography. He likes to write, direct, and photograph his photo concepts.

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Katie Marie Smith, Printmaker

Katie Marie Smith's work serves as a reminder to stop and appreciate the little things, both in subject matter and in practice. 


It's easy to feel like the whole world is moving at a million miles an hour, especially during a pandemic. As someone who has battled an anxiety disorder her entire life, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on Katie mentally. She often finds herself caught up in restless thoughts: Am I getting sick or is it allergies? Did I remember to bring a mask? Should I wear two masks? Have I sanitized my hands enough? Should I sanitize them again?


Through painting, Katie is able to stop this cycle of negative thinking and just focus on the small, simple things: the beauty of nature, the symmetry of butterflies, the subtle imperfections on their wings. 


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Edith Sullivan, Illustrator

Edith Sullivan is an illustrator in Pittsburgh, PA and has been a participating artist in Evolve's future camp since 2021. Edith is constantly producing artwork and has had tremendous success through the Vault art gallery. Some of this work includes commissioned illustrations for the children’s book, ”Pipsi the Angel”. She is also a singer/songwriter and is working on music for an upcoming musical project with her sister.

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Opal Sullivan, Illustrator

Opal is a prolific artist and works in multiple mediums. Her perspective is both childlike and honest. She chooses brightness and beauty when expressing herself. Opal is hoping to join Vault Art Studio after graduation.

Delaine Swearman, Photographer

Delaine Swearman is from Pittsburgh, PA. She expresses her creative self through both photography and writing. Delaine’s photos showcase unique aspects in nature, objects, children, and her pet. She is inspired by the beauty of the moment. More of Delaine’s work can be seen through Instagram.


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